Bandai Namco Entertainment, Love Live! Events Canceled Due to COVID-19 Coronavirus Concerns

posted on by Egan Loo
This week's Perfume, EXILE, Yukari Tamura events also canceled

Bandai Namco Entertainment announced on Wednesday that it is canceling or changing its sponsored events until March 15 due to concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The affected events include those for Tekken 7, The [email protected], Sword Art Online, Tales of Vesperia, and Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation 2. The staff of the Love Live! franchise separately announced that they are canceling the "Aqours Back In First Love Live! ~Step! ZERO to ONE~" concerts on March 1 and the "LOVE LIVE! SUNSHINE!! UNIT LIVE ADVENTURE 2020 AZALEA First LOVE LIVE! ~Amazing Travel DNA~" concerts on March 7 and 8.

The organizers of the "Perfume 8th Tour 2020 'P Cubed' in Dome" concerts announced on Wednesday that they have canceled the Tokyo Dome concert that would have happened on the same day, due to COVID-19. The "EXILE PERFECT LIVE 2001→2020" organizers also announced that they canceled Wednesday's concert at Osaka's Kyocera Dome for the same reason. Voice actress Yukari Tamura's "Birthday Event 2020" already planned to forbid attendees from doing call-and-response (audience responses during specific sections of a song) during Tamura's performance on Thursday, but the organizers have since announced that they canceled the event outright.

Concerns over the virus have led to the cancellation or postponement of numerous events in Japan, as well as Japanese companies announcing their absence in overseas events, conventions, and trade shows. Osaka's Nippombashi Street Festa cosplay event will not be held on March 15 due to similar concerns. Sony Interactive Entertainment, Bushiroad, Square Enix, and other companies have announced their absences from different events abroad. Bushiroad previously announced last week that it has canceled its AnimeJapan 2020 attendance.

The production schedules of a number of currently airing winter 2020 television anime have also been affected by the spread of the virus. The A3! Season Spring & Summer anime series will restart its airing from the first episode on April 6, with the A3! Season Autumn & Winter half of the story delayed from this summer until further notice. A Certain Scientific Railgun T anime's staff has delayed episode 7 from February 21, but the anime will resume on Friday, February 28. Similarly, the Infinite Dendrogram anime's staff delayed episode 7 last week, but it will resume on Thursday.

The first reported cases of the COVD-19 coronavirus occurred in Wuhan, China in December, and then began to spread in varying rates and intensities across many parts of the globe through incubation in human hosts. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a world health emergency on January 30. As of Tuesday, the WHO reported that there are 80,239 infected individuals worldwide, with 77,780 of them in China and 157 official cases in Japan proper. (The Diamond Princess, a cruise ship docked in Yokohama, has an additional 700 infected individuals, as of Tuesday) 2,666 individuals have died from the disease in China. The WHO reports one death due to COVID-19 in Japan proper. As of Tuesday, a fourth passenger of the Diamond Princess cruise ship died in a Japanese hospital, although the cause of death has not been reported. Hokkaido reported its first death due to COVID-19 on Wednesday.

Japan announced on Wednesday that it will ban the entry of foreign nationals who visited the South Korean city of Daegu and neighboring county of Cheongdo in North Gyeongsang province. It has already banned the entry of foreign nationals from two Chinese provinces, Hubei and Zhejiang.

Thanks to omiya for the news tip.

Sources: The Japan Times, The Asahi Shimbun (link 2), Bandai Namco Entertainment via Otakomu, Love Live! via Yaraon!, Yukari Tamura, Perfume, EXILE via Hachima Kikō

Update: Hokkaido's first death reported. Thanks to omiya for the news tip.

Update 2: During a government task force meeting on Wednesday afternoon, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe reiterated the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare's proposal last week to organizers to cancel, delay, or downscale their events until mid-March, as these next few weeks are a critical period for containing the disease. The proposal is a non-binding request. Thanks, omoikane. Sources: Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, NHK

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