Abe explains decision to step down in talks with UN chief

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, during a phone conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, explained his decision to resign due to health issues, the country’s Foreign Ministry said.

According to the ministry, in the conversation lasted for 20 minutes, Abe emphasized the importance for Japan to work and cooperate with international organisations in the global effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.

Guterres expressed his wish for Japan to continue its collaborative approach in combating the pandemic, the ministry said.

Abe announced his decision last week to step down owing to an intestinal disease.