Saudi Crown Prince postpones Tokyo trip, says Japanese government

Visit, which had been set to start on Monday, would have been Mohammed bin Salman's first to Japan since 2019

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomes Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Jeddah in July last year. SPA
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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has postponed a four-day state visit trip to Japan, the Japanese government has said.

The trip, which had been set to start on Monday, would have been the crown prince’s first visit to Japan since 2019. Japan’s top government spokesman Yoshimasa Hayashi said the two nations would reschedule the visit, without indicating when.

Prince Mohammed was set to hold talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, have an audience with Emperor Naruhito and attend a “court luncheon”.

The Japanese government said last week that Mr Kishida planned to discuss a “broad range” of issues regarding the Middle East and the global community during Prince Mohammed's visit.

According to the International Monetary Fund, Saudi Arabia became Japan’s eighth-biggest trading partner last year, with bilateral trade reaching $42 billion.

The announcement of the crown prince's delayed trip comes a day after Saudi King Salman underwent a medical examination after experiencing fever and joint pain, and had a lung infection diagnosed, the royal court reported.

After the tests at the Royal Clinics at Al Salam Palace in Jeddah, the medical team advised that King Salman should undergo a programme of treatment and antibiotics until the infection cleared up.

The king chaired last week's cabinet meeting in Jeddah where he reviewed the kingdom's plans to receive more than two million Muslims for the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

He was admitted to hospital last month for a routine check-up.

In May 2022, King Salman was admitted to the same hospital and underwent a colonoscopy, and the “result was sound”, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

He was admitted to the hospital in March 2022, where he underwent medical tests and doctors changed the batteries in his pacemaker.

In July 2020, King Salman had a successful operation to remove his gall bladder after inflammation.

King Salman, 88, has been on the throne since 2015. His son, 38, was named Crown Prince in 2017.

Updated: May 20, 2024, 10:55 AM