Yesterday, the World Health Organization officially declared covid-19 a pandemic. The NBA suspended the season. E3 was canceled. The Osaka sumo tournament banned in-person spectators. But Japan’s Comic Market, dubbed the largest fan event on Earth, still seems slated for this May.
Update: 3/27/2020, 7:30 p.m. EST: IT Media reports that this May’s Comic Market will be canceled due to covid-19 concerns. Organizers apologize for canceling the event a little over a month before it was slated to be held in early May. More details about the cancelation will be posted on the official Comiket Market site at a later date.
NHK reports that the total number of current coronavirus infections in Japan is 627. Twenty-three people have died, while 475 people have recovered and been discharged from hospitals. There have been concerns that the number of actual infections in Japan is much higher and that the country is lagging behind in tests; however, Japan is making coronavirus tests covered by its national insurance.
Late last month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that the country’s elementary, middle, high and special-needs schools would be closed due to covid-19 concerns. Numerous events, such as Nico Nico Chokaigi, were canceled. However, as Kyoto News reports, in late February the Japanese government has only asked event organizers to consider canceling or rescheduling events during the first two weeks in March.
Yet Jomo News reports that the spring Comic Market (Comiket) still seems scheduled to be held from May 2 to May 5 at Tokyo Big Sight. Organizers announced which doujin groups had been selected to participate in this spring’s event.
The most recent Comiket, held last December, saw between 180,000 and 190,000 attendees during each day of the four-day event.