TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida began working remotely Monday after testing positive for COVID-19 a day earlier, the government’s top spokesperson said.
According to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, Kishida, 65, is only displaying mild symptoms of the virus and was able to attend a meeting remotely from his official residence on Monday morning.
Matsuno said plans are being made so that the Japanese leader can take part in as many upcoming events as possible, by virtual and other means.
The Japanese prime minister has to isolate until Aug 30, Matsuno said.
One such event Kishida may be able to take part in virtually is the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), to be held in Tunisia on Aug 27 and 28.
Kishida’s planned visit to the Middle East after TICAD is likely to be canceled, government sources said.
Kishida received his fourth COVID-19 vaccination shot on Aug 12, just before the beginning of his summer vacation on Aug 15.
After playing golf with his family in Ibaraki Prefecture on Tuesday, he stayed with his family at a hot spring inn in Shizuoka Prefecture on Wednesday. The following day they took in some sights in the Shizuoka, according to local accounts.
He started showing symptoms of the virus on Saturday night after returning to his residence in Tokyo on Friday afternoon and tested positive for the virus on Sunday.
Kishida was due to return to work on Monday.
His symptoms included a mild fever and a cough, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Japan is currently in the grip of a seventh wave of COVID-19 infections and reported record daily cases on Friday as the BA.5 Omicron subvariant of the virus continues to run rampant nationwide.