Saudi crown prince puts off Japan trip due to king’s health

Tokyo, 21 May, /AJMEDIA/

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has put off a four-day visit to Japan planned from Monday due to the health condition of his father King Salman, the Japanese government said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi told a press conference that Tokyo received Riyadh’s notification of the last-minute postponement by the de facto Saudi ruler on Sunday night, and that the two governments will rearrange his visit.

The top government spokesman declined to comment on whether there was a connection between the postponement and a reported helicopter accident in Iran on Sunday involving Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

The crown prince last made a trip to Japan in June 2019 when the Group of 20 major economies held a summit in Osaka.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabian state media reported that the nation’s 88-year-old king has a fever and joint pain, and would undergo an examination at a medical institution in the western city of Jeddah.

The crown prince was supposed to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday and Emperor Naruhito on Wednesday in Tokyo, according to the Japanese government.

Mohammed bin Salman and Kishida were expected to discuss bilateral cooperation in the economic field as well as on clean energy sources such as hydrogen and ammonia and promotion of exchanges including through Japanese anime, according to the government.


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