Japan PM cancels trip amid spike in COVID-19 infections


PRIME Minister (PM) of Japan Yoshihide Suga has canceled his planned visit to India and the Philippines amid a fresh surge in coronavirus infections in many parts of the world including Japan and the two countries.

Mr. Suga canceled the trips due to a resurgence of coronavirus cases in Japan, which has considered imposing a fresh state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka and Hyogo prefectures, Japan Times reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed government sources.

India and the Philippines are also grappling with a new wave of infections, which may have played a part in the decision to cancel the trip, it said.

The Philippine presidential palace said it understands the decision.

“Defeating the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic is high on both the Philippines and Japan’s agenda and remains a key point of cooperation,” presidential spokesperson Herminio “Harry” L. Roque, Jr. said in a statement.

“The decision to postpone a planned official visit based on this ground, therefore, deserves support,” he added.

Mr. Roque said the strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan would continue even as both countries struggle to work to address the COVID-19 pandemic. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza