The Latest: Japan cancels memorial to 2011 tsunami victims

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The Latest on the virus outbreak (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

Japan has canceled a memorial for victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Crown Prince Akishino and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had been scheduled to speak at the event next Wednesday. The government memorial in past years was broadcast live to towns worst-hit by the disaster, but the local events were being canceled or trimmed back as well.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Friday the cancellation was unavoidable because Japan "must take all possible steps to stop the further spread of the virus in the country." Japan has urged schools to close nationwide and limited large gatherings of people among its containment measures.

Japan has more than 1,000 cases of infection, including about 700 from a cruise ship.

The March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami devastated parts of Japan's northeastern coast, killed 18,000 people and caused reactor meltdowns at a damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima prefecture.

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