Amid Citizenship Bill Row, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe Cancels India Visit

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe’s visit to India, which was scheduled to be held in Guwahati next week, has been deferred amid fierce protests over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

“Both sides have decided to defer the visit to a mutually convenient date in the near future,” foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

The talks between Indian PM and Japanese counterpart were due to take place from December 15 to 17. A Japanese media report had said he may consider cancelling the visit amid violent protests. On Wednesday, protesters pulled down hoardings erected in central Guwahati to welcome Abe.

Guwahati, the planned venue for the three-day summit between Abe and Modi, has been engulfed in violent protests over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Japan’s Jiji Press had reported Mr Abe is mulling to defer his visit to India scheduled to begin on Sunday.

Assam has been witnessing massive protests in the last two days with thousands of people hitting the streets challenging prohibitory orders to demand scrapping of the Act.

Last week, the foreign ministry had announced that the summit between PM Modi and Abe will take place between December 15 and 17. Though the government did announce the venue for the summit, preparations were underway to host it in Guwahati.