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Tokyo|…. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has called off his proposed visit to India and the Philippines in view of the spiralling COVID-19 infections in Japan. He is the second head of the state after Britain PM Boris Johnson to cancel their visit to India due to the second wave of coronavirus.

According to reports, PM Suga decided to postpone his visit to India and the Philippines due to a resurgence in COVID-19 in Japan. The trip was originally scheduled for the end of April.

Japanese media stated that the Prime minister will now instead focus on handling the resurgence of the deadly virus.

The trip 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.

Japan’s government is considering a state of emergency for Tokyo and Osaka as new COVID-19 case numbers surge, a move that would enable prefectural authorities to impose curbs to try to stop infections from spreading.

With thousands of new cases resulting from highly infectious strains of the virus, the government is expected to declare the state of emergency this week for the capital and Osaka prefecture, as well as the latter’s neighbouring Hyogo prefecture.

Japan has so far avoided the kind of explosive spread of the pandemic that has plagued many Western countries, with total cases so far at about 5,40,000 and a death toll of 9,707.

But the latest rise in infections has stoked alarm, coming just three months before the planned start of the Tokyo Olympics and amid a sluggish vaccination roll-out.