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Seiyū Award, Key, Aikatsu Events Canceled Due to COVID-19 Coronavirus Concerns

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda & Egan Loo
Voice actress Minori Chihara also delays concerts

The staff of the 14th Annual Seiyū Awards announced on Wednesday that this year's awards ceremony and a related audition event for new voice actors are canceled due to concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus. The staff decided to cancel the events to protect the health of everyone involved. The awards ceremony was scheduled to be held at Bunka Hōsō Media Plus Hall on March 7.

Instead of at the ceremony, the event's staff will announce the winners during a special edition of the Chō! A&G+ internet radio program on March 7 starting at 6:00 p.m. JT. The awards' organizers announced the winners of the Merit Awards, Kei Tomiyama Award, and Kazue Takahashi Award on February 18.

Visual Art's/Key announced on Wednesday that its "KSL Live World 2020 ~REFLECTION BLUE Summer~" event is canceled due to concerns about COVID-19. The staff are aiming to help prevent the spread of the virus. The event was scheduled to take place at Yebisu The Garden Hall in Tokyo on April 29. People who purchased tickets will be able to receive refunds.

Lantis announced on Wednesday that upcoming "Aikatsu on Parade! Unit Live Tour Unit Parade!" events are canceled due to concerns about the virus. The tour's upcoming events were scheduled for February 29 at Umeda Trad in Osaka and March 6-8 at Tokyo Dome City Hall.

Voice actress Minori Chihara announced on her official blog on Wednesday that her M-Smile character song "Jukebox" performances have been postponed due to concerns about the new coronavirus. The concert events were scheduled to be held at Shinjuku Blaze in Tokyo on February 29 and at Umeda Trad in Osaka on March 22.

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 announced last week that it would not attend AnimeJapan 2020.

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 Kougeru, omiya, invalidname for the news tips.

Sources: Press release, Visual Arts Co., Ltd.'s Twitter account, Lantis' website, Minori Chihara's official blog via Yaraon!

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