• Jiji


The annual government-sponsored World War II memorial service, held in Tokyo on Aug. 15 to coincide with the anniversary of Japan’s surrender, will be scaled down this year due to the coronavirus outbreak, the health ministry said Friday.

The number of guests and other participants at this year’s ceremony will be limited to around 1,400, or about 20 percent of last year’s total of some 6,200, according to the ministry.

It will be the first time for the annual event to be scaled down.

The attendants will be seated one meter apart from each other. The government will ask them to wear face masks, sanitize their hands and fingers, and undergo body temperature checks at the entrance.

The venue will be the Nippon Budokan hall in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward, the same as in the past.

The ceremony will include addresses by the emperor and the prime minister as before, but there will be no singing of the national anthem.

The government is considering streaming this year’s event live online.

The number of participants may be reduced further depending on the extent of the virus’s spread. The ministry plans to announce details of this year’s ceremony around early August.

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