March 5, 2020 / 7:51 AM / a month ago

China says Xi will visit Japan at the most appropriate time

FILE PHOTO: Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, December 23, 2019. Noel Celis/Pool via REUTERS

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Japan at the most appropriate time, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday, after Tokyo confirmed that a planned state visit in early April had been delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters at a news briefing in Beijing that the two countries will maintain close communication on the timing of Xi’s visit without elaborating further.

Asked about reports that Japan will impose a quarantine on travellers from China, Zhao said he was not aware of the reports but that both countries will take proper measures based on the development of the epidemic.

Reporting by Huizhong Wu; writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Kim Coghill

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