Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga cancels India visit amid rising virus cases

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has called off a planned visit to India and the Philippines apparently due to a resurgence of coronavirus infections in Japan. Suga was scheduled to visit India for the annual summit. Yoshihide Suga will instead focus on handling a recent surge in coronavirus cases.

According to a Reuters report, the Japan government is considering a state of emergency for Tokyo and Osaka as new Covid-19 case numbers surge, broadcaster NHK reported on Wednesday. The move would enable prefectural authorities to impose curbs to try to stop infections spreading. The trip, which had been scheduled from late April to early May, was intended to reaffirm Japan’s cooperation with the two countries in achieving a free and open Indo-Pacific, as the nations look to counter China’s military buildup and growing assertiveness in the region. On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken with Yoshihide Suga for the first time since the latter was elected to the office, the Prime Minister’s Office said on Friday. PM Modi congratulated Yoshihide Suga on his appointment as the Japan prime minister and also wished him success in achieving his goals.

In India, Suga was expected to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the first time in person and discuss promotion of bilateral collaboration in many fields including outerspace and cyber security.