On Feb. 26, Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, issued a request to the organizers of large public events, such as concerts and sports matches, asking them to consider cancelling or postponing such gatherings to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Amid the global spread of the virus, some domestic and international artists had already begin putting off their shows in Japan. More followed in the wake of the announcement. From dome-sized performances to indie concerts, performers are debating whether to play live and, if they do, what special measures to take.
Nerves tensed up on Feb. 25 when news that the first recorded COVID-19 patient in Kumamoto Prefecture had attended a show by pop-punk band Wanima on Feb. 8 in Fukuoka. This revelation prompted the group to cancel a handful of upcoming dates, marking the first major domestic cancellations.