Talks on Xi's Japan Visit Stall with China Busy over Viral Outbreak

Politics

Tokyo, Feb. 6 (Jiji Press)--Talks between Tokyo and Beijing on arranging a state visit to Japan by Chinese President Xi Jinping this spring have stalled as China remains very busy dealing with the spreading outbreak of pneumonia caused by a new strain of coronavirus.

Some Japanese officials are starting to worry that the visit, expected for early April, may not materialize.

While the outbreak continues, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference Wednesday that Tokyo will "steadily advance preparations to realize the visit as planned," adding, "We do not expect that a postponement will be sought from the Japanese side."

"It will be good to see the two countries' leaders agree on working together to contain the spread of the virus," an executive of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party said, stressing the need to realize Xi's visit to Japan and set up a meeting between him and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The Japanese and Chinese governments have held a series of unofficial talks to schedule Xi's visit since the beginning of this year. However, the two sides have been forced to reschedule some of such meetings slated this month in the wake of the viral epidemic that originated in China, informed sources said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press