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Japan Post Suspends Sending EMS Packages to U.S.

posted on by Jennifer Sherman & Crystalyn Hodgkins
More events in U.S., Japan cancelled; GAME FREAK employee tests positive for COVID-19

The Japan Post announced on Thursday that effective Friday, Japan Post will not deliver anything by EMS to the United States. The service will also not deliver parcels, small packets, or printed matter by air to the United States. Japan Post will still deliver parcels, small packets, and printed matter by surface (sea mail), as well as letters, postcards, and material for the handicapped by air or surface.

Japan Post began limiting some of its services on April 2 due to suspension and reduction of flights to and from Japan due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The courier has stopped accepting international mail items for its Express Mail Service (EMS) and Air mail service for shipment to 127 countries and territories, as well as all types of mail to 27 countries and territories. Japan Post's Economy Air (SAL) service is suspended to all countries and territories for which it provides service. Other events and people affected by the pandemic include:

Bandai Namco Entertainment

Bandai Namco Entertainment gave an update on its work environment on Friday, stating that it has "prepared and enacted remote working conditions within our offices across the globe." The company stated that its "vision is to follow our slogan word for word and provide – 'more fun for everyone.'" As a result, the company released the PAC-MAN Championship Edition 2 game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC (via Steam) for free starting on Friday.

People Testing Positive for COVID-19

Pokémon game developer GAME FREAK announced on Thursday that one employee received a positive result from a COVID-19 test on Wednesday. The employee is currently hospitalized. All employees began working from home on as of April 1, and the infected employee has has not gone to GAME FREAK's Tokyo office since before April 2. Therefore, the company stated that other employees do not have additional risk due to this confirmed case.

Events in Japan and the United States

  • The Macross Delta idol group Walküre announced a "Walküre wa Akiramenai" (Walkūre Won't Give Up) concert tour for this July and August — despite having to make the announcement in a live stream, since COVID-19 canceled their Sunday event. The group members, who appeared in the live-streamed special in separate locations via teleconferencing, added that they cannot announce the specific venues and dates yet.

  • The official website for Chihayafuru 3, the third Chihayafuru anime season, announced on Friday that the anime's event planned for June 21 is canceled due to the COVID-19 situation and the Japanese government's related announcements. Applications for tickets to attend the event will become invalid.

  • The staff of the planned Hypnosis Mic -Division Rap Battle- Rule the Stage -track.2- stage play announced on Friday that the entire stage play is cancelled. The play was planned to run from May 15-31.

  • Idea Factory and Design Factory announced on Friday that the "Otomate Party 2020" event planned for May 23-24 is now cancelled.

  • An event for the Given franchise planned to take place at Zepp Tokyo on June 2 is postponed.

  • The SIGGRAPH conference, which focuses on computer graphics in academia and industry, cancelled its 2020 event. The event was originally scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C. on July 19-23. The event will hold a virtual conference in its place. The event was scheduled to take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, which is the same event hall that hosts Otakon. SIGGRAPH staff stated that because the event hall has recently "been designated a future alternate care site" during the pandemic, that it was impossible to continue with the event as planned. Otakon is currently still scheduled to take place at the event hall from July 31 to August 2.

Thanks to Robo Gato for the Japan Post news tip.

Sources: Japan Post via Tenshi Shop, Bandai Namco Entertainment press release, Game Freak via Otakomu, Chihayafuru 3 anime's website, Walkūre stream, Comic Natalie, Stage Natalie, 4Gamer (T田), Given anime's Twitter account via Nijimen, SIGGRAPH via Cartoon Brew

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