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Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has cancelled his planned visit to India and the Philippines, said government sources on April 21 as per news agency ANI apparently due to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Japan. Suga’s trip had been scheduled from late April to early May and was aimed to reaffirm Japan’s ties with both nations to further achieve a free and open Indo-pacific while countering China’s military buildup and assertiveness in the region. While coronavirus infections surged in japan, India and the Philippines are also rocked with an uptick of fresh cases.
Meanwhile, broadcaster FNN and other media reports said that the Japanese PM will be postponing his India visit to elevate the focus on the current COVID-19 situation. As of April 20, the nationwide cases in Japan of coronavirus was 4,335 with most cases in Osaka and Tokyo. Other prefectures that also recorded a hike in COVID-19 cases include Hyogo, Saitama, Aichi, Kanagawa among others. The number of deaths reported was 38. Meanwhile, India is rocked with the second wave of COVID-19 with a record surge in daily cases. On April 21, India reported 2.94 lakh fresh COVID-19 cases with a death toll crossing 2,000 for the first time since the outbreak began in the nation. Further, the national case count on Tuesday of 2,94,291 was nearly three times higher than the peak of daily infections recorded during the first wave in around September 2020. While Suga’s India trip has been cancelled, he met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi most recently during the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) that was convened by the US along with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
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