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Tokyo International Anime Fair 2011 Cancelled

posted on by Gia Manry
March 24-27 event cancelled in wake of March 11 earthquake, tsunami

The official website of the Tokyo International Anime Fair (TAF) 2011 event confirmed on Wednesday that the event has been cancelled in the wake of the March 11 earthquake (Tōhoku Chihō Taiheiyō-oki Jishin) and tsunami. According to the announcement, the event's executive committee decided to cancel in consideration of the safety of the participants and attendees with uncertain power supplies and traffic accessibility. The event's staff apologized for the inconvenience caused by the decision.

TAF takes place annually at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center on Odaiba island at Tokyo Bay. According to the official website for the cancelled Hakurei Jinja Reitaisai 8 event (which centers around the Touhou self-published game franchise), Tokyo Big Sight suffered unspecified damage during the earthquake. TAF 2011 was originally scheduled to hold industry-only days on March 24-25, and general public days on March 26-27.

This year's event became part of a controversy due to Tokyo Metropolitan Government's amendment to its Youth Healthy Development Ordinance. The amendment is expanding the number of manga and anime that fall under "harmful publications," the legal category of works that must not be sold or rented to people under the age of 18. Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara is a major advocate of the amended Healthy Development Ordinance and the head of the executive committee for the Tokyo International Anime Fair (TAF).

The media company Kadokawa Shoten was the first to publicly cancel its TAF display, followed by boycott by Shueisha, Shogakukan, Kodansha, and other major manga publishers. Several anime and manga companies worked together to establish a new convention, the Anime Contents Expo, which was set to take place the same weekend at the time of this writing.

The Los Angeles Times newspaper reports that many airlines are offering refunds or waived ticket change fees for those whose travel plans have already been disrupted by the earthquake, or those who planned to travel through March 18.

Update: Voice actor Junichi Suwabe reported on Wednesday that the Anime Contents Expo (ACE) event has been cancelled. The organizers of the March 26-27 event have not made an official announcement. Suwabe was slated to record an episode of the radio program for the Starry Sky franchise on March 27 at ACE in Chiba Prefecture east of Tokyo.

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