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International relations

Pandemic forces Suga to travel to US with reduced entourage

Neither cabinet members nor first lady will accompany prime minister

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will depart April 15 from Haneda Airport on Japan's equivalent of Air Force One. (Photo courtesy of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force)

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will leave Thursday for his summit with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington with neither cabinet members nor his wife in his entourage as both sides try to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infections.

The prime minister will depart from Haneda Airport on Japan's equivalent of Air Force One, with a delegation of about 80 people, 20% to 30% smaller than usual for a trip to the U.S. All have been vaccinated against the virus at Washington's request, including Suga, who received two doses ahead of the trip.

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