The Japan Sumo Association announced that they have decided to cancel a photography session where parents have a chance to photograph their babies in the arms of some of their favorite rikishi.
The event, frightening for some, adorable for most, was scheduled for February 25th. With the recent fast-moving Corona virus, the event coordinators felt it would be a necessary preventative measure against the spread of the virus to have the parents hold their babies this time around. After further consideration though, the event has been cancelled altogether.
Government officials are calling for large scale event organizers to reconsider whether the event is absolutely necessary at this time, and if the event is to take place, to take careful preventative measures.
The Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka, beginning on March 8th, is one such “large scale event.” According to a notice on the official Sumo Association website (www.sumo.or.jp/), “The tournament will be held as planned.” Still, the JSA has made it clear that they are keeping a close eye on the situation and that, “Plans are subject to change depending on the circumstances.”
As far as prevention, fans who have a fever or are in a generally poor state of health are discouraged from attending and may be turned away at the door. Even further measures may be taken such as taking guests’ temperatures at the entrance to screen for those who could be carrying the virus. At the very least, attendees are encouraged to use antiseptic solution regularly.
The Sumo Association has offered refunds to ticket holders who might decide not to attend the tournament due to the risk of Corona virus in Osaka.
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