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Japanese PM cancels plan to visit US, Australia

Tokyo, Jan 4 (IANS) Citing Covid-19 concerns, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday that he will cancel provisional plans to visit the US and Australia for summit talks ahead of the beginning of a Parliament session here later this month.

He said that in the year ahead he had been hoping to enhance diplomatic talks with US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, reports Xinhua news agency.

In addition, Kishida said he will not travel overseas before the regular Diet session, but will stay in Japan to oversee the government's measures to tackle a resurgence of Covid-19 cases.

Owing to the rise in Covid-19 cases in Japan, particularly the local transmission of the Omicron variant, the Prime Minister also said on Tuesday a decision as to whether to apply more stringent border controls would be decided next week.