In response to the coronavirus crisis, the Japanese film industry has begun to delay releases, close theaters and refund ticket purchases.
The releases of the new “Doraemon” and “Jimaro” feature animations targeted at kids out of school for the spring break, have been delayed. The former was scheduled to open March 6, the latter on Feb. 28.
The Toho Cinemas chain, the nation’s largest, has announced that customers who have bought advance tickets can request refunds. Another major chain, Shochiku Multiplex Theaters, will do the same. The Le Cinema theater in Tokyo’s Bunkamura complex will close from Friday.
Earlier this week the government issued a directive urging the cancellation or postponement for at least two weeks of sporting events and other public gatherings. Schools are out until April.
Excluding infections on the Diamond Princess cruise ship now docked in Yokohama, cases of coronavirus infection have passed the 200 mark in Japan, including eight deaths.