• Jiji

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A group in Akita Prefecture is preparing to hold synchronized fireworks demonstrations throughout the country this summer as a surprise to cheer up the public and support the pyrotechnics industry amid the pandemic.

Fireworks makers nationwide have earned almost no revenue this year because of cancellations and postponements caused by the coronavirus, according to the group, which is based in Daisen, Akita Prefecture. That city is well-known for holding the annual Omagari fireworks festival.

The group, whose name roughly translates as “the group that loves Japanese fireworks,” hopes the event will put smiles back on the faces of people worn out by the pandemic.

The event is scheduled to take place in July or August. It will last for up to 10 minutes, but the timing and locations will not be revealed to prevent large crowds from gathering.

A national fireworks contest is held in Daisen, Akita Prefecture, last August. | KYODO
A national fireworks contest is held in Daisen, Akita Prefecture, last August. | KYODO

As of Wednesday, 77 fireworks businesses from 28 prefectures had said they were willing to take part. Businesses in areas where fireworks can’t be launched will send their products to Daisen to be launched during the event.

For the event, the group will seek donations on the crowdfunding platform Fan Akita between Monday and July 10. There are six donation options ranging from ¥10,000 to ¥300,000.

Donors will be able to see videos of the event online, but the group is also considering sharing some of the event information with them. Donations to the group will also be accepted.

Noriyuki Hikino, head of the group, said the event is designed to encourage businesses to showcase their “compassionate fireworks.”

“We also hope that the fireworks will cheer up those who are exhausted by the pandemic,” he said.

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