Chinese President Xi Jinping has postponed his state visit to Japan in April, the Japanese government said Thursday, ending weeks of speculation over whether the trip would go ahead amid efforts to contain the coronavirus epidemic.

Xi would have been the first Chinese president received by Japan as a state guest in more than a decade and was due to have a meeting with Emperor Naruhito and hold a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

But preparations have been hindered by the new coronavirus, which has killed more than 3,000 and infected around 90,000, mostly in mainland China, with numerous meetings between government officials in the lead-up to the visit successively called off.