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Abe rival says Japan should have banned China visitors earlier

Shigeru Ishiba attacks prime minister's handling of coronavirus pandemic

Shigeru Ishiba speaks at a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before the two competed in a ruling Liberal Democratic Party leadership election in September 2018.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Shigeru Ishiba, a heavyweight lawmaker in Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, on Monday attacked Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 63-year-old, who has twice challenged Abe for the party leadership, told foreign media in Tokyo that the prime minister was slow to restrict travel from China, the original epicenter of the virus.

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