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Japan urges against nonessential travel to US

Travelers walk past canceled flights on a schedule board, some due to the coronavirus, at the Haneda International Airport in Tokyo, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan has issued a travel warning for its nationals, urging not to make unessential trips to the United States because of the rapidly expanding coronavirus outbreak in that country, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Japan has taken similar steps to most European countries and banned trips to China, South Korea as well as Iceland, San Marino and parts of Italy, Switzerland and Spain.

As of Saturday, the U.S. had 15,219 confirmed cases and 201 deaths, the ministry said, citing the U.S. Center for Disease Control.

The foreign ministry also said the decision came after the U.S. raised travel caution to Japan and four countries to level three, urging Americans not to make nonessential trips to Japan and requiring a 14-day self-imposed quarantine for Japanese nationals entering the U.S.

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