Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe taken to hospital for 'check-up’

There have been concerns about the prime minister's health. Credit: AP

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe's hospital visit has generated renewed concerns about his health despite aides insisting it was for a regular health check-up.

Videos of Mr Abe being driven in a car to Keio University Hospital in Tokyo on Monday were widely shown on Japanese TV news reports.

The prime minister’s office declined to comment on the hospital visit, saying it was not on his official schedule.

Kyodo News said the visit was part of a regular checkup Mr Abe gets about twice a year.

Pictures of Mr Abe arriving at hospital were shared on local media.

Mr Abe has been on a summer break recently, as has much of Japan.

Although the prime minister sometimes goes to his summer home in the countryside about this time of year, he has stayed in Tokyo amid widespread concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, according to Kyodo News.

A governing party politician, Akira Amari, said on television over the weekend that Mr Abe feels guilty about taking time off but needs rest.

Mr Abe, 65, has had health concerns before. He stepped down in 2007 during an earlier stint as prime minister, citing health problems.

He is the longest-serving prime minister in Japanese history.