TOKYO: As fear has grown in the country regarding coronavirus, Japan will cancel a public gathering to celebrate the birthday of the new Emperor Naruhito.

"In light of various situations, we have decided to cancel the visit by the general public to the palace for His Majesty's birthday," the imperial household agency said in a statement a day after the government warned people to avoid crowds and "non-essential gatherings."

"His Majesty's appearance in the morning, as well as the public signing of the greeting book, will be cancelled."

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