Japanese share prices fell 1.75% today, hitting a five-month low after Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's abrupt resignation threw Asia's largest economy into another political crisis.

The Nikkei-225 index fell 224.71 points to end at 12,609, the lowest close since March 31.

Fukuda resigned late yesterday after failing to reverse a slump in his popularity despite unveiling a major economic stimulus package, leaving Japan looking for its third premier in less than two years.

But analysts said the impact of Fukuda's resignation on economic policy was likely to be limited because there is already a political stalemate.

Exporters were hit by a stronger yen, which is bad for their overseas earnings. Canon lost 2.7% as Honda Motor dropped 2.9%to 3,360 yen.