Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, during a phone conversation with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday, 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 organizations in the global effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

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