Mr Fukuda has tried various steps to shore up his government's popularity
Japan's Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has announced his resignation at a news conference at his official residence.
The surprise announcement means the prime minister is resigning after fewer than 12 months in the post.
His government has suffered chronic unpopularity. Lost pension records, an unpopular healthcare scheme and a sliding economy have added to his woes.
Mr Fukuda has also been frustrated by the upper house of parliament, which is controlled by the opposition.
"If we are to prioritise the people's livelihoods, there cannot be a political vacuum from political bargaining, or a lapse in policies," Mr Fukuda said, according to Reuters.
"We need a new team to carry out policies."
He did not speak of calling an immediate election, raising the prospect of a leadership election within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.A general election must be held by September 2009.
Thailand's also at the brink.
Bolehland's? "I don't care if I'm popular or not"!