The Anime Expo convention announced on Monday that the convention is will be held as scheduled, despite the recent spate of event cancellations due to concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus illness. The announcement noted that the event staff will continue to monitor any changes in the global situation. The convention will take place on July 2-5.
Meanwhile, publisher Dark Horse Comics announced on Tuesday that it will not attend the Emerald City Comic Con event later this month. The event is schedule to take place on March 12-15 in Seattle.
Joey Cuellar, one of the organizers of the Evolution Championship Series (Evo) fighting game tournament in Las Vegas, also stated on Monday that there are no plans to cancel or postpone this year’s Evo event. The event will take place from July 31 to August 2 in Las Vegas.
Bandai Namco Entertainment also announced on Monday that it has postponed its Tokyo Tekken Masters Tournament to sometime later in the year. The tournament was scheduled to take place on April 4 and 5.
The International Olympic Committee reiterated on Tuesday that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are still planned to go forward as scheduled. IOC spokesperson Mark Adams stated that the IOC’s decision “is that the Games go ahead […] We see no reason to change that decision.”
Monaco-based Shibuya Productions’ announced on Tuesday that it is postponing this year’s Monaco Anime Game International Conferences (MAGIC) event to February 26-27, 2021. The event was planned to open in Monaco on March 7.
In Japan, the BUSTERCALL=ONE PIECE art exhibition for the One Piece manga postponed its opening on Monday. The exhibition was scheduled to run from March 29 to April 12.
Shueisha cancelled the Ribon★Mirai Festa event for its Ribon magazine on Monday. The event was planned to take place on April 25 and 26.
The Gundam vs. Hello Kitty project’s spring fan event postponed its planned opening. The event was planned for March 22.
Last Thursday, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said that the government is asking elementary, junior high, and high schools to close until the end of spring break in early April to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus illness. The government is also encouraging children and others to stay home and avoid large gatherings for the next few weeks. During the first half of March, such venues and events as Tokyo Disneyland, Universal Studios Japan, Ghibli Museum, NAMJATOWN, AnimeJapan, and Shizuoka Hobby Show are closed, cancelled, or postponed.
As of Monday, the WHO reported that Japan has 268 cases of the virus with six deaths. These numbers do not include the number of cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama. That cruise ship had 706 infected passengers and six deaths.
The first reported cases of the COVID-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 WHO declared a world health emergency on January 30. As of Tuesday, the WHO reported that there are 90,870 infected individuals worldwide, with 80,304 of them in China and 268 official cases in Japan proper. 2,946 individuals have died from the disease in China. The WHO raised its global risk assessment over the virus from “high” to “very high” last Friday.
Sources: Anime Expo, Dark Horse Comics‘ Facebook page, Joey Cuellar’s Twitter account via Siliconera, Tekken World Tour, Kyodo via Hachima Kikō, MAGIC, Anime! Anime! (曙ミネ), Comic Natalie, Anime! Anime! Biz (MoA)
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