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Tokyo's famed Sumida River fireworks cancelled for 3rd year due to COVID

The 2019 edition of Sumida River Fireworks Festival is seen in Tokyo on July 27, 2019. (Mainichi/Masahiro Ogawa)

TOKYO -- The Sumida River Fireworks Festival, one of the Japanese capital's biggest fireworks events, will be cancelled for the third year in a row as the coronavirus pandemic continues, the festival's executive committee decided on April 8.

    The show had been planned for July 30, but the executive committee judged that it would be difficult to collect visitors' contact information and maintain social distancing, according to the committee's secretariat. While they considered holding the festival on a surprise day and without spectators, they decided the plan was unrealistic. Instead, the committee is considering holding an exhibition at Sumida Heritage Museum in Sumida Ward looking back on the fireworks festival's history.

    Committee Chairperson Itaru Yanagida commented, "We've made a lot of effort toward holding the festival, so we're very disappointed about the cancellation. We'll proceed with preparations to hold the event next year."

    (Japanese original by Shohei Kato, Tokyo Bureau)

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