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COVID-19: Japanese emperor's UK visit may be postponed

Japanese gov't mulls postponing emperor's first overseas tour planned for this spring

Sorwar Alam   | 16.03.2020
COVID-19: Japanese emperor's UK visit may be postponed

ANKARA

Japanese emperor's planned state visit to the U.K. could be postponed due to coronavirus pandemic, local media reported on Monday.

The Japanese government is considering postponing the visit of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako scheduled between April and June, the state-run Kyodo News reported citing a source familiar with the matter.

"It will be best for the emperor and empress to make their trip in conditions preferable to both Japan and Britain," the report cited the source as saying.

The visit, planned upon the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II of the U.K., would have have been the first overseas tour by Japan's imperial couple after Naruhito's enthronement in May last year.

A total of 35 people have so far died from the coronavirus pandemic, also known as COVID, in the U.K., while 1,376 have tested positive for the virus.

COVID-19 emerged in Wuhan, China last December, and has spread to at least 146 countries and territories.

The death toll worldwide is now over 6,400, with more than 164,000 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization, which has declared the outbreak a global pandemic.

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