Kyodo News filed a Washington-datelined report this morning saying that President Trump suggested on Tuesday that his administration may consider expanding its travel restrictions to countries including Japan to counter the spread of the new coronavirus. President Trump was quoted as saying in response to a reporter’s question about the possibility of cutting off travel to and from South Korea and Italy: “We’re watching Italy very closely, South Korea very closely, even Japan very closely, and we’ll make the right determination at the right time.” When asked about the Tokyo Olympics, the President said it is up to Japan whether to decide to hold the event as planned. “I think I’m going to leave that to Prime Minister Abe,” the President was quoted as saying. “He’s a friend of mine. He’s built a beautiful venue…They’ve spent billions of dollars.” According to the wire service, the President sounded less upbeat than in late February when he told reporters that he hopes Tokyo will host the Olympics, which run from July 24 to Aug. 9.
Fuji TV reported this morning that the President is considering expanding its entry ban to a few more nations, including Japan, in light of the spread of the new coronavirus. The network said the U.S. government has already imposed an entry ban on travelers from China and Iran. NHK and TBS aired similar reports.