The coronavirus outbreak has prompted Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to request nationwide school closures, call for large events to be canceled or postponed and seek to pass legislation that would enable the government to declare a state of emergency.

Now, the virus has claimed its latest casualty: his chance to showcase improved Japan-China relations.

By postponing Xi's visit and expanding entry restrictions to cover the entirety of China, Abe seems to have come to terms with the fact that the coronavirus is beyond his control and has put on the back burner his attempt to score a major victory through his greatest strength: diplomacy.