China's Xi postpones state visit to Japan amid virus outbreak

06, Mar. 2020

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TOKYO, Kyodo - Chinese President Xi Jinping has postponed his visit to Japan in April, the governments of both countries said Thursday, ending weeks of speculation over whether the trip would go ahead amid efforts to contain the coronavirus epidemic.

Xi would have been the first Chinese president received by Japan as a state guest in more than a decade and was due to meet with Emperor Naruhito and hold a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

But preparations have been hindered by the new coronavirus, which has killed more than 3,000 and infected around 90,000, mostly in mainland China.

Yoshihide Suga, Japan's top government spokesman, said the countries had agreed that Xi's visit would take place at a time that "suits both sides" and to remain in close contact to work out the details. (Kyodo)