Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the United States President Donald Trump that the strengthening of the alliance between the U.S. and Japan will still be maintained even after Abe announced his resignation, a Japanese government spokesman claimed on Monday.
On Friday, Abe announced his resignation as a result of his poor health, after suffering from a long battle with ulcerative colitis, effectively ending his tenure as Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, serving for a total of around nine years, across two spells from 2006 till 2007 and then from 2012 to this year.
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Akihiro Nishimura said that Abe “wants President Trump to rest assured because the policy of bolstering the Japan-U.S. alliance will remain unchanged”.
Nishimura was addressing reports after a 30-minute telephone conversation between Abe and Trump, very early on Monday in Japan.
According to a White House spokesman, during the conversation, Trump called Abe the “greatest prime minister in Japan’s history”.
Nishimura added that Abe told Trump that Japan would like to maintain a very good relationship with the U.S., and to cooperate very closely when it comes to forming a new missile defence strategy.
During July, Japan took a step towards acquiring weapons that can be used to attack North Korea, after a ruling party committee approved of the proposals put into place to consider acquiring strike capability to halt potential ballistic missile attacks.
The White House spokesman, Judd Deere, stated that Trump told Abe that he had done a “fantastic job” and that the relationship between the two countries was the strongest it has ever been throughout history.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party will vote for a new Japanese Prime Minister on September 14, Jiji news agency confirmed.