The Chinese President, Mr. Xi Jinping, has postponed his state visit to Japan in April due to the coronavirus outbreak, Japan’s government said Thursday.
Mr. Xi was to have been the first Chinese President to visit Japan since Hu Jintao in May 2008. Mr. Xi was scheduled to meet Japan’s emperor, Naruhito, attend a banquet at the imperial palace and hold talks with the prime minister, Mr. Shinzo Abe.
The leaders had hoped the visit would underline recent improvements in bilateral ties after years of tension over rival territorial claims to the Senkakus, a group of islands in the East China Sea that are administered by Japan but claimed by China, where they are known as the Diaoyu.
Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Mr. Yoshihide Suga, said the two countries had agreed that their immediate focus should be on containing the coronavirus outbreak.