TOKYO, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held separate telephone talks with U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday pertaining to his recent decision to resign, the government here said.
During his talks with Trump that lasted around 30 minutes, Abe reportedly thanked the president for his cooperation in strengthening the Japan-U.S. relationship.
The pair also agreed that both countries would continue to work together to combat the coronavirus pandemic and work towards the successful development of a vaccine and related treatments。
In a Tweet following the call, Trump wrote "Shinzo will be recognized as the greatest prime minister in the history of Japan, whose relationship with the USA is the best it has ever been. Special Man!"
Abe's call with Trump was the first to a foreign leader after his shock announcement last Friday that he would be resigning due to an an intestinal disease, ulcerative colitis, that brought his first tenure to an abrupt halt in 2007, flaring up again。
A week prior to Abe announcing his resignation, he became Japan's longest-serving prime minister in terms of consecutive days in office.
Abe also held talks with Putin, thereafter, during which the pair agreed to continue bilateral talks aimed at resolving a decades-old territorial dispute that has prevented both sides from signing a postwar peace treaty, officials here said.
Putin was quoted as saying that Abe had made solid contributions to removing obstacles between the two countries, while Abe, for his part, expressed his hope that future talks would continue to be productive.
Officials here said Putin thanked Abe in Japanese saying "arigato" while Abe thanked Putin in Russian saying "Vladimir, spasiba。"
Abe will remain in office until a new leader is chosen, with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party slated to hold a leadership election on Sept. 14, party sources have said. Enditem