In what's being described as an "abrupt" decision, Nokia has announced it will stop selling mobile phones in Japan. The only phones that will remain on sale in the region is Nokia's luxury Vertu brand.

Reuters reports that Japan is the world's fourth largest mobile phone market after the United States, China and India, but it makes up only a tiny part of sales at Nokia with its 0.3% market share.

In addition, there's seen to be limited scope for growth in Japan where the mobile phone market is fairly saturated with 85% of the population already owning a phone.

"In the current global economic climate, we have concluded that the continuation of our investment in Japan-specific localised products is no longer sustainable", Nokia executive vice president Timo Ihamuotila said in a statement.