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The number of couples in Japan planning to hold wedding ceremonies is increasing gradually after the government lifted its coronavirus emergency in late May.

Many couples have postponed or canceled their wedding ceremonies and receptions due to the new coronavirus outbreak.

A small chapel located in a large commercial facility in Tokyo’s Koto Ward had been closed from April 8 until the end of May.

Of all couples who had planned to have wedding ceremonies at the chapel in and after March, 74 couples postponed their events and 10 canceled them.

Many couples are considering postponing wedding ceremonies until this autumn, according to the operator of the chapel.

The operator has reopened the chapel while taking measures to prevent virus infection, such as limiting the number of participants from original 48 to 24.

A couple who made a reservation right after the lifting of the government’s coronavirus emergency on May 25 held their ceremony June 13, the first wedding ceremony to be held at the chapel after the reopening.

“Many people still find it difficult to set a date, but we started seeing new customers,” said Miyako Mitsuhashi, the 29-year-old manager of the wedding venue.

Meanwhile, many people are afraid of attending such ceremonies even though they want to celebrate those getting married.

Bo Project Co., a company offering boxed chopsticks at wedding receptions, based in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, conducted an online survey May 26 to 27, covering 500 people aged 20 to 49 who are invited to wedding ceremonies or receptions to be held in June or later.

The survey showed that over 80 percent of respondents plan to attend such events.

Meanwhile, more than 70 percent voiced concerns over coronavirus infection, with 24 percent saying they have strong concerns and 49 percent having some concerns.

Some 30 percent of respondents invited to events to be held between June and August said they have strong concerns about virus infection.

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