Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to India, scheduled next week, has been cancelled, said a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs.

The Foreign Ministry informed that both the sides have decided to defer the visit to a mutually convenient date in the near future.

The Japanese media had earlier in the day said that Abe is considering cancelling his visit to India scheduled for December 15 and 16 amid violent protests in the northeast over the Citizenship Act.

The venue for the summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Abe was Guwahati in Assam, which has emerged as the hotbed for protests against the citizenship Act.

The Ministry of External Affairs had earlier on Thursday said that it does not have any clarity on the fate of the Modi-Abe meet in Guwahati.

A Japanese team had visited Guwahati on Wednesday to take stock of the preparations, news agency PTI reported, quoting sources.

Ahead of the scheduled summit, India and Japan held their inaugural 2+2 defence and foreign minister-level dialogue on November 30 which focussed on cooperation in building a free and open Indo-Pacific in view of China’s growing footprint.

Ahead of the talks, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defence Minister Taro Kono met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The passing of the Citizenship Bill in the Parliament has plunged the northeast, especially the state of Assam, into deep chaos with locals and students hitting the streets in thousands, burning tyres and wooden logs prompting the administration to impose curfew in Guwahati and suspend mobile internet services in 10 districts of the state.

Earlier on Thursday, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen had informed that he has cancelled his visit to India scheduled from December 12-14. Soon after, the country’s Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, who was scheduled to visit Meghalaya for an event today, also called off his trip.