Japan, China Mulling Putting Off Xi's Visit amid Virus Crisis

Politics

Tokyo, March 1 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo and Beijing have started to consider postponing a planned state visit to Japan by Chinese President Xi Jinping from early April, as both sides need to put priority on containing the outbreaks of the new coronavirus, Japanese government sources said Sunday.

The Japanese and Chinese governments are expected to reach a conclusion on the matter within this week, according to the sources.

At a news conference on Saturday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, "While there is no change in President Xi's planned Japan visit at the moment, we will keep in close contact (on the presidential visit) in light of the need for achieving sufficient results."

The remarks were understood by some to have suggested the possibility that Xi's visit could be pushed back.

"No decision (on the postponement) has been made, but developments related to the coronavirus will affect (the schedule of) President Xi's visit to Japan," a senior Japanese government official said. "Based on the common sense, it would be difficult" for Xi to visit Japan in April, another Japanese official said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press