Kin of War Dead from 19 Prefectures to Skip War-End Anniversary
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Tokyo, Aug. 7 (Jiji Press)--Bereaved relatives from 19 of the 47 prefectures of Japan will skip this year's government-sponsored ceremony to mourn those who died in World War II, due to concerns over the novel coronavirus epidemic, the Health, Labor and Welfare ministry said Friday.
It will be the first time for a specific prefecture not to send any bereaved relative to the Aug. 15 ceremony, except due to bad weather. The decisions by the 19 prefectures reflect many of the relatives being aged and therefore at higher risk from the virus at a time when infections are surging again across the country.
The 19 prefectures are Aomori, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Toyama, Fukui, Mie, Osaka, Hyogo, Wakayama, Tottori, Shimane, Ehime, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima and Okinawa.
In June, the ministry said the ceremony for this year, which marks the 75th anniversary of Japan's surrender in the war, will be scaled down as an infection prevention measure, with up to only 1,400 people allowed to attend, compared with some 6,200 participants in last year's ceremony.
This year's event will be held at the regular venue of the Nippon Budokan hall in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. Attendees will be seated with space between them and will be urged to disinfect their hands thoroughly.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]