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Japan, Britain reaffirm G-7 cooperation on coronavirus

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) during annual G7 summit in Biarritz, France, Aug. 26, 2019. (AFP)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) during annual G7 summit in Biarritz, France, Aug. 26, 2019. (AFP)
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16 Mar 2020 12:03:51 GMT9
16 Mar 2020 12:03:51 GMT9

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his British counterpart, Boris Johnson, reaffirmed Sunday the importance of close cooperation among the Group of Seven major countries to fight the global spread of the new coronavirus.

During 40-minute telephone talks, Abe and Johnson also agreed that their countries will work together to ensure that the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held as scheduled this summer, according to Japanese officials.

Abe briefed Johnson on his government's measures to tackle the coronavirus epidemic.

Abe said it is important that the G-7 countries show firm responses from the viewpoint of preventing a slump of the global economy.

Besides Japan and Britain, the G-7 countries are Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the United States.

Regarding group virus infections on the British-flagged cruise ship Diamond Princess, which was quarantined off Japan for weeks until early this month, Abe said the Japanese government provided support from a humanitarian standpoint. Johnson expressed gratitude for Japan's measures.

Johnson wished Abe a successful Tokyo Games and said he hopes to visit Japan once the situation over the coronavirus calms down. Abe said he is looking forward to a visit by Johnson.

There was no reference during the phone talks to the planned visit to Britain by Japan's Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako this spring, according to the officials.

The phone talks were held at the request of Britain.

Amid the global coronavirus scare, Abe held phone talks with U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday.

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