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Hokkaido park light festival begins with shortened hours amid virus surge

The annual "Sapporo White Illumination," whose hours will be shortened this year in a bid to stem the coronavirus outbreak, is seen at Odori Park in Chuo Ward, Sapporo, on Nov. 20, 2020. (Mainichi/Taichi Kaizuka)

SAPPORO -- Amid a restrained mood in Hokkaido's capital brought about by a rise in coronavirus cases, the 40th edition of the annual "Sapporo White Illumination" light show opened at five locations in this city's central Odori Park on Nov. 20. With requests for businesses in Sapporo's Susukino nightlife district to stop serving alcohol by 10 p.m. and close early, the light show is also planned to end two hours earlier than initially scheduled each night, at 8 p.m. Moreover, a lighting ceremony and the "Christmas Munich Market" have been canceled outright for the first time.

    (Japanese original by Yui Takahashi, Hokkaido News Department)

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