More Events Dropped, Delayed as Japan Declares State of Emergency in Tokyo Area
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
The Japanese government declared a new state of emergency in Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Kanagawa, and Chiba on Thursday, in response to the high rate of new infections of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The state of emergency will be in place from Friday, January 8 to Sunday, February 7.
In light of the state of emergency, more companies have canceled, delayed, or altered events:
• The model kit and figure convention Wonder Festival 2021 [Winter] has been canceled. The staff noted that about 6,500 dealers were planning to appear at the February 7 event, and that they alone will surpass the state of emergency's maximum attendance limit of 5,000 on events.
• Square Enix delayed its planned Final Fantasy XIV Artwork Exhibition event. It will announce a new schedule at a later date. The event was originally scheduled to run from Friday, January 8 until Tuesday, January 12.
• The Quintessential Quintuplets ∬ attraction at the Fuji-Q Highland theme park has been delayed to an as-yet unannounced date. The attraction was originally scheduled to run in the amusement park from February 13 to April 4.
• The six "Hypnosis Mic -Division Rap Battle- 6th Live <<2nd D.R.B>>" concerts in Osaka, Aichi, and Tokyo will still go on from January 30 to February 21, but they will now stream live online with no in-person audiences.
• The Sanrio Puroland theme park will close from January 9 to January 31. On the days it remains open, it will close at 5:00 p.m.
• The Gundam Factory Yokohama venue is halting advance sales for admission tickets to the life-size moving Gundam statue in Yokohama from January 9 to 11, but will announce later how people can buy tickets on the same day they visit. In addition, the venue will no longer sell advance Gundam Dock Tower tickets for 7:45 p.m. timeslots and later from January 12 to January 31. (The Gundam Dock Tower tickets allow visitors to take a elevator at the statue's "hangar" to view the statue from head level.) Gundam Factory Yokohama already postponed ticket sales from February 1 to 15.
• The local governments have already asked events to limit attendance to under 5,000 people since late December. The prefectures were considering lowering the attendance limit on events to 1,000 people, but ultimately decided to ask for a maximum limit of 50% of venue capacity or 5,000 people. Event should also end by 8:00 p.m.
• The prefectures are also considering asking movie theaters, and amusement parks to limit attendance to 50% of their capacity. TOHO, Aeon, United, and Shochiku — four of Japan's largest theaters chains — announced on Tuesday that they will halt advance ticket sales for screenings on Friday and beyond in Tokyo and neighboring prefectures. People can now only buy tickets at the affected theaters on the day of the screening, if the theaters are open. (Some special screenings are excluded.) The Cinema Sunshine theater chain already announced on Saturday similar restrictions on advance ticket sales.
Unlike the previous state of emergency last spring, the national government indicated that schools will not be subject to additional restrictions (beyond voluntary self-restraint measures). However, the prefectures have asked residents to refrain from nonessential outings after 8:00 p.m. They are asking restaurants and other places that serve food or drinks to close before 8:00 p.m. every night, and to not serve alcohol after 7:00 p.m. every night.
The prefectural governors had requested that the central government declare a state of emergency on January 2, after Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures had record high rates of new daily infections throughout December and the first days of the new year.
This is the second time these prefectures will be under a state of emergency during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, after an almost two-month-long nationwide state of emergency from early April to late May last year. Unlike the lockdowns in other countries, last spring's state of emergency in Japan relied on voluntary compliance to rules instead of penalties. Suga said he will push a revision to the current laws to allow for penalties.
Japan reported 7,101 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the third day in a row with an all-time daily high. Tokyo alone reported at least 2,447 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the second day in a row with an all-time daily high. Tokyo also reported a record 121 people who are seriously ill with COVID-19, the second day in a row with an all-time daily high. A new, more contagious variant (that was first reported in the United Kingdom) of the virus that causes COVID-19 had been identified in 25 people in Japan as of Wednesday.
follow-up of Companies Brace for New COVID-19 State of Emergency in Tokyo Area