The organizers of the AnimeJapan 2020 event announced on Thursday that they have decided to cancel the event due to concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease, and the Japanese government’s recent proposal to cancel large-scale events. The event is offering refunds for admission tickets beginning on March 6.
AnimeJapan 2020 was scheduled to take place from March 21-24 at Tokyo Big Sight.
Concerns over the disease 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 disease. 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 disease 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 Wednesday, the WHO reported that there are 81,109 infected individuals worldwide, with 78,191 of them in China and 164 official cases in Japan proper. (The Diamond Princess, a cruise ship docked in Yokohama, has an additional 691 infected individuals.) 2,718 individuals have died from the disease in China. The WHO reported one death due to COVID-19 in Japan proper. However, Hokkaido reported its first death due to COVID-19 on Wednesday. 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.
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.
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 outbreak. The proposal is a non-binding request.