TOKYO (AP) _ Less than a week before his planned visit to Washington, Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama canceled a scheduled visit to a shrine today because of a fever.

The decision raised new concerns about the 70-year-old politician's health after a hectic fall legislative season and strains from factional disputes within his Socialist party.

Murayama was hospitalized during his July visit to Naples for a summit meeting of leaders from the Group of Seven industrial countries because he had diarrhea after eating Italian food.

But an aide, Hajime Furuta, said today that Murayama's health is not expected to affect his Jan. 10-13 visit to Washington, where he will meet President Clinton.

Japanese prime ministers traditionally visit the Ise Shrine of Japan's native Shinto religion several days into the new year.

Murayama, however, canceled the trip, saw his doctor and is currently resting at his official residence, Furuta said.