US President Donald Trump hailed outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday (local time) as Japan’s best ever head of government.
In a tweet, Trump said he had just spoken to Abe, who is resigning for health reasons.
“Shinzo will soon be recognized as the greatest prime minister in Japan’s history, whose relationship with the US is the best there has ever been. Special man,” Trump tweeted.
Abe announced his departure on Friday due to chronic bowel inflammation. He also stepped down in 2007 due to the same health ailment. Abe stays on until his successor is elected.
He and Trump met several times during the tenure of the US president. Staffers have also praised the “unprecedented” relationship between Trump and his “golf buddy.”
Trump said last September that the two allies had taken a significant step towards a new trade deal after a year of negotiations between global economic powers.