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The last time a calamity delayed a Chinese leader's state visit to Japan was in 1998, when flooding in Wuhan beckoned then-President Jiang Zemin. (Nikkei Montage/ Source photos by AP/ Kyodo and Xinhua/ AP) 
China up close

Last time a Chinese leader delayed a Japan trip, it didn't end well

Xi Jinping needs to avoid a repeat of Jiang Zemin's visit in 1998

KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

TOKYO -- Ending weeks of speculation amid the global spread of the novel coronavirus, Japan on Thursday announced that Chinese President Xi Jinping will postpone a state visit to Japan planned for early April.

China made the painful decision after its top diplomat, Politburo member Yang Jiechi, visited Japan on Friday and Saturday to review the coronavirus situation with his Japanese counterparts as well as to discuss what to do next.

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