Chinese President Xi Jinping will not make a state visit to Japan this year as both countries continue to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, the Sankei newspaper reported on Monday.
The continued delay to a visit that was supposed to take place last year also comes amid simmering tension between Japan and China over disputed islands in the East China Sea claimed by both countries, and Beijing's crackdown in Hong Kong, the paper said.
After putting Xi's visit on hold last year, Japan's government said Asia's two biggest economies would arrange an itinerary for a better time.
Japanese media reported early last year that Xi was scheduled to have a state visit to Japan in early April, before being rescheduled for later in autumn.
However, the spread of the coronavirus has caused major disruptions in political schedules. On February 24, the Chinese government decided to postpone the opening of the National People’s Congress, the highest organ of state power and national legislature for the Peoples’ Republic of China, which had been scheduled to convene on March 5.
Sankei wrote last year that were Xi to travel abroad while there is no end in sight for the coronavirus crisis, it might invite domestic criticism.