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Anime Contents Expo 2011 Cancelled (Updated)

posted on by Gia Manry
March 26-27 event, intended to counter Tokyo Anime Fair, cancelled after March 11 quake

The official website of the Anime Contents Expo (ACE) 2011 event confirmed on Thursday that the event has been cancelled in the wake of the March 11 earthquake (Tōhoku Chihō Taiheiyō-oki Jishin) and tsunami. A FES, the anime song event that would have taken place during the same March 26-27 weekend and in the same Makuhari Messe convention center as ACE, was already cancelled.

ACE cited the soil liquefaction in the Makuhari district, the planned power blackouts, the current disorder in the transportation systems, and the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station as the primary reasons why it cannot ensure the safety of everyone who attends. ACE added that there is also the possibility of additional aftershocks and earthquakes. ACE noted that it pre-sold 40,000 tickets to the event in less than three months, and it listed ways that people can obtain refunds.

A group of anime and manga companies created ACE in response to the controversy surrounding the Tokyo International Anime Fair (TAF) and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's amendment to Tokyo's Youth Healthy Development Ordinance. The amendment will expand 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.

Among others, 10 major manga publishers were planning to boycott TAF 2011 because of the amended ordinance, although not all of them would have formally exhibited at TAF or ACE. TAF had announced the cancellation of its own 2011 event on Wednesday.

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 in March. ACE would have taken place in Chiba Prefecture east of Tokyo.

Voice actor Junichi Suwabe had reported in a Twitter post on Wednesday that ACE was cancelled, but he later deleted the post. Suwabe was slated to record an episode of the radio program for the Starry Sky franchise on March 27 at ACE.

Update: More background information added.

Update 2: The official Twitter account for ACE reported that the organizers explored the possibility of delaying the event, but had to cancel instead. In response to suggestions that proceeds from pre-sale tickets should be donated to charity, the Twitter account said that ACE considered this, but decided that it would be best for the individuals to donate after receiving their refunds.

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