Business World

Japan PM cancels trip amid spike in COVID-19 infections

- Kyle Aristopher­e T. Atienza

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. —

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