Japanese PM cancels India visit due to corona crisis at home

at 6:57 pm
Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga (File pic)

New Delhi (NVI) The Coronavirus surge has forced cancellation of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s visit to India later this month along with the two-plus-two dialogue slated to be held in Tokyo this weekend.

Suga, who was to have his first in-person meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had to cancel the visit as his presence is required at home to address a resurgence of coronavirus in Japan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato was quoted by Japanese news agency Kyodo as saying.

Japan has been witnessing a huge spike in coronavirus cases, as a result of which the government there has been considering imposition of another State of Emergency in some places like Tokyo, Osaka and Hyogo prefectures.

Sugo’s India visit, amidst China’s growing military belligerence in the region, was aimed at discussing promotion of cooperation on security along with economic issues and other subjects.

Since both India and Japan are members of the four-nation grouping called Quad, Modi and Sugo were to discuss issues related to the security framework to counterweight China’s growing assertiveness in the region. Other members of the grouping are the US and Australia.

In view of the coronavirus crisis in India and Japan, the two countries have also decided to put off their foreign and defence ministerial talks under the 2+2 framework slated to be held this weekend in Tokyo.

Earlier, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also cancelled his visit to India scheduled to start on April 26 in view of coronavirus surge in India.