Japan includes shows by foreign acts in comp scheme
The Japanese government has amended its compensation scheme to include domestic shows by foreign artists, thanks to lobbying from a new consortium of Japan-based international promoters.
The scheme (which goes under the name of J-LODlive) was set up in late January and was partly intended to reimburse organisers for the cost of an event that was cancelled or postponed due to the state of emergency issued at the beginning of the year.
The initial eligibility requirements, published on 19 February, excluded performances by overseas artists but after campaigning from an alliance that includes Live Nation Japan, Creativeman and Billboard Live, the decision was reversed on 17 March.
The alliance, driven by the All Japan Concert & Live Entertainment Promoters Conference (ACPC), was formed last December and is completed by ALC, Hip, Kyodo, M&I, Promax, Smash Cooperation and Udo.
The 10 promoters are working closely together in cooperation so that international touring in Japan can go back to normal
The 10 promoters are working closely together in cooperation so that international touring in Japan can go back to normal.
The consortium’s next goal is to ease the business visa restrictions for foreign artists to enter Japan with no quarantines.
For the first time in 10 weeks, no part of Japan is under a Covid-related state of emergency, signalling hope for the organisers of spring festivals.
According to ACPC, a number of domestic festivals are due to take place from this April with up to 10,000 attendees, including the inaugural edition of Love Supreme Jazz Festival Japan.
The festival will make its debut in the 375-hectare Chichibu Muse Park, just outside Tokyo, on 15 and 16 May 2021.
Japan reduces event capacities in greater Tokyo
The Japanese government has asked cinemas, museums and other event facilities in greater Tokyo to reduce capacities after declaring a state of emergency in the area.
Prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, last Thursday (7 January) announced that Tokyo and three neighbouring prefectures of Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama – which together account for about 30% of the country’s population of 126 million – would be placed immediately under emergency measures for a month in a bid to curb surging Covid-19 cases.
Under the new restrictions, which will be in effect until at least 7 February, major events will be allowed to go ahead, with the cap for spectators revised down to 5,000 people or 50% of capacity, whichever is smaller.
“The situation has become increasingly troubling nationwide and we have a strong sense of crisis,” Suga said as he announced the new restrictions. “We fear that the nationwide, rapid spread of the coronavirus is having a big impact on people’s lives and the economy.”
“We fear that the nationwide, rapid spread of the coronavirus is having a big impact on people’s lives and the economy”
Unlike Japan’s first state of emergency in last spring, schools and non-essential businesses will not be asked to close.
Gyms, department stores and entertainment facilities will be asked to shorten their opening hours and an estimated 150,000 bars and restaurants in Tokyo and the three neighbouring prefectures will be asked to stop serving alcohol at 7 pm and to close an hour later. Residents are encouraged to avoid non-essential outings after 8 pm.
The state of emergency was declared as Tokyo reported a record 2,447 new infections on Thursday, up from 1,591 on Wednesday.
Despite the worrying surge, Japanese and International Olympic Committee officials have insisted that the global pandemic will not derail plans to open the already postponed Tokyo Olympics on 23 July, and last week Suga insisted he was still committed to holding the Olympics as “proof of mankind’s victory over the virus”.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics is scheduled to run from 23 July to 8 August, with the Paralympics due to follow from 24 August to 5 September.