Aquarium in Japan Starts Supporters Project amid Epidemic

Society Culture

Mihama, Aichi Pref., Oct. 6 (Jiji Press)--A struggling aquarium in central Japan has launched a project to seek fan club-style financial support online after facing a plunge in visitor numbers due to the new coronavirus epidemic.

Under the project, Minamichita Beach Land in Mihama, Aichi Prefecture, asks supporters to pay monthly membership fees like fan clubs do, instead of seeking donations or crowdfunding under one-off programs.

The project also allows support members to interact with the aquarium staff. Funds collected through the project will be used to cover costs to maintain aquarium facilities and buy feed for fish and animals.

Having lost the opportunities to attract visitors during the country's Golden Week holiday period in spring and the summer break due to the coronavirus outbreak, the aquarium saw the number of visitors dive 70 pct in April-September from a year before.

The aquarium, which marks the 40th anniversary of its opening this year, decided to seek financial support partly to realize its plans to renovate its aging facilities after once giving up on them due to reduced footfall.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press