Abe was Japan's youngest post-war prime minister [EPA]

 

The highs and lows of Shinzo Abe's year as Japan's prime minister:

 

September 26, 2006: Shinzo Abe elected prime minister with about 60 per cent support.

October 8-9, 2006: Abe meets Chinese and South Korean leaders to mend ties over visits to Yasukuni war shrine by his predecessor.

 

December 21: Tax chief Masaaki Homma resigns after reports surfaced about him living with a mistress in an upscale government-subsidised apartment.

 

December 27: Administrative reform minister Genichiro Sata quits after some political supporters filed "inappropriate" financial statements.

 

January 27, 2007: Another scandal erupts as health minister Hakuo Yangisawa refers to women "birth-giving machines". He later apologises following public outrage and calls for resignation.

 

March 5: Abe denies there is proof Japan kidnapped women to become sex slaves during World War Two, drawing widespread criticism from Japan and around the world.

 

May 28: More scandal hits Abe's cabinet as farm minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka hangs himself after a series of funding scandals.

 

June 15: Abe's support ratings falls below 30 per cent for first time since becoming PM.

 

July 3: Defence minister Fumio Kyuma resigns days after saying the 1945 Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings "couldn't be helped".

 

August 1: Another farm minister Norihiko Akagi resigns after denying he fudged financial statements for a defunct political support group.

 

July 29: Election defeat sees Abe's Liberal Democratic Party loses its upper house majority.

 

September 3: Takehiko Endo, the third farm minister in Abe's government, resigns over illegal dealings at a farmer's group he headed.

 

September 9: Abe he suggests he will stake his job on winning backing for a continuation of Japanese naval support to US-led military operations in Afghanistan.

 

September 12: Abe announces his resignation.

Source: Agencies