Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has tested positive for Covid-19, his office said on Sunday, a week before the leader was due to attend an African development conference in Tunisia.
Kishida took a PCR test Saturday night “after he had a slight temperature and a cough,” an official at the Office of the Prime Minister of Japan told AFP.
Reports in local media, including public broadcaster NHK, said he could now attend the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) on August 27-28 remotely.
Japan has seen record Covid-19 cases in recent days, although the total death toll from the disease is far lower than many other countries at 36,780.
Kishida, 65, who took office in October, had his fourth vaccination earlier this month.
He was on vacation with his family and was due to return to work on Monday.
Japan has never imposed a strict lockdown, and anti-infection measures aimed primarily at bar and restaurant opening hours were lifted across the country in March.
The country’s borders have partially reopened, although tourists are still banned unless they are part of organized group tours.
Tokyo has been working with African countries since 1993 to host TICAD approximately every five years.
At the upcoming meeting, Japan will strongly support “African-led development” with a focus on economy, society and peace and stability, according to a briefing document from Japan’s foreign ministry.
Japan would also help improve Africa’s food security to deal with the food crisis, which has been exacerbated by the situation in Ukraine, the document said.
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