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Tokyo cancels Sumida River fireworks festival for 3rd straight year

50 Comments

The annual Sumida River fireworks festival in Tokyo, one of the biggest summer events in the country, has been canceled for the third year in a row due to the coronavirus.

The fireworks display is normally held on the final Saturday of July. In the past, it has attracted crowds of up to one million gathering along the banks of the Sumida River as more than 22,000 fireworks are let off.

Sumida Ward and Tokyo metropolitan government officials said the continuing high rate of coronavirus infections in the city make it difficult to hold the festival, as social distancing would be impossible.

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50 Comments
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This is just nonsense now.....It isnt like there are 1 million people crammed into one small area. This is just an absurd decision!!!!

19 ( +32 / -13 )

Cancel it permanently -- it's a nuisance anyway, and costs a fortune.

What a very depressing and negative view. Hanabi is engrained into Japanese culture and history. I wished that we had such a strong sense of tradition in the UK.

This festival goes back to 1732 and this current government should study their history and understand that it was initiated to entertain the diseased and poverty-stricken masses back then. They should hold it to cheer people up during this pandemic.

I used to live in Sumida-ku and hanabi weekends are great for going out.

If people are offended by Japanese tradition then just don't live here. Nobody is forcing you to.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

What an awful decision. It’s like getting a bad virus three years ago and cancelling your schedule book out of fear for the next three years. Might as well be bold, is the other side of the argument. And for what it’s worth, I also got covid. It was very chesty, to the point of being a bit scary, sore throat too, but I was ok finally. Some are not. But regardless, is the argument.

13 ( +24 / -11 )

Crazy Japan at it again. 80% of the population are double vaccinated. Covid is here to stay and most people will catch it at one time or another. Keeping the population wrapped in tissues is not going to achieve anything. Most people who catch and speed the virus are those who are packed into the cattle trains every morning and afternoon.

9 ( +22 / -13 )

A stupid, cowardly decision that will further demoralize the Japanese public who have long indicated their desire to live life again.

These lunatics deem the similarly outdoor Tokyo Marathon just fine, as well as baseball played in domed stadiums.

But watching fireworks outside? Too dangerous.

As always, decisions that are anti-science, capricious and above all, cowardly.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

Stupid decision!

people need to get back to normal! The govt needs to stop catering to the hypochondriacs. Children need fireworks! One of my favourite memories whilst living in Japan are the fire works festivals!

8 ( +23 / -15 )

That sucks. I want my fireworks!

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Cancel it permanently 

The grinch who stole hanabi

6 ( +11 / -5 )

What’chu talkin’ ‘bout, Uncle Phil?” - On the road to a comeback: If Will Smith were filming a movie in Tokyo, the Fresh Prince wouldn’t hear of another cancellation:

Jul 4, 2021: https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2021-07-04/actor-will-smith-pays-for-july-4-fireworks-in-new-orleans

Smith picked up the roughly $100,000 tab for the pyrotechnics over the Mississippi River after learning New Orleans didn't plan a 2021 show, city officials told news outlets.”

6 ( +8 / -2 )

No fireworks this year either I guess, feeling kinda stupid now paying about 4man extra for a place because it's a great spot to watch the yodogawa hanabi.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Stop an outdoor summer tradition and activity venerated by generations of a city for what? The sky should be falling with illumination and glorious sparks of light and sonic booms, not because the sky is seen falling by paranoid whining, gutless politicians.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Sumida Ward and Tokyo metropolitan government officials said the continuing high rate of coronavirus infections in the city make it difficult to hold the festival, as social distancing would be impossible.

BS! This is gibberish, this means nothing. It’s nonsense because it is not based on any scientific rational.

At this point they are just using the COVID BS to establish a society where people are allowed to do a limited amount of activities defined by the government while wearing a stupid mask all the time.

3 ( +23 / -20 )

Classic Japanese logic.

has the city done anything to improve social distancing on trains and subways in the capital? As far As I’ve seen, trains are as packed as ever , but we can’t sit OUTSIDE to watch fireworks. SMH

3 ( +7 / -4 )

To shut down an outdoor summer event 3 years running such as the Sumida Fireworks when people will be socially distanced is the height of paranoid absurdity. What in God's name are people so afraid of? People having fun and giving some semblance of return to normal life? This is the perfect example of power wielding peons not knowing science in positions of making policy. What does anyone have to fear from a fireworks display? Really, my God, people have become insane because of covid and fear their shadows even when they can't even see them.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Absolutely boring anyway in humid weather.

did someone force you to watch it ?

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Anyone who has been around Asakusa / Kuramae area for this fireworks festival will surely understand the reasons for the cancellation! 

Anyone who has travelled on a train in Tokyo during rush hour will surely understand the reasons for their cancellation! Oh, my bad. They haven't been cancelled!

Yet if there was an super spreader incubator for Covid this would be number one. So Joanne what is your point? Covid is here. We live with it but sane people don't fear it and cancel a major Japanese summer event.

One more point. Many Japanese are vaccinated, so again, make some sense of your point. I really don't see it.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Wearing a mask is useless if disposable masks are reused and cloth masks are not sterilized after every use.

Can you explain? While I can understand re-use is less effective, is it not generally better than wearing no mask in terms of transmitting the virus? (I can understand there may be a limit where accumulation on the mask reaches a tip over point, but I've still to learn what that point might be.)

2 ( +4 / -2 )

We just got to stop being afraid. The rest of the world has opened up. Typically Japan is last to catch up. So very sad

1 ( +9 / -8 )

.....If people don’t want to do their part to stop the spread...

This is the funniest, anti-science nonsense ever and it is pretty prevalent throughout the world of moral browbeaters and finger pointers. I'll let you into a little secret....there is NO way to stop the spread. We have this virus everywhere now and we now have to live with it. We have medication to help ALLIVIATE THE SYMPTOMS....which is all we can now do, and they are very effective. We absolutely do not need to be locked down, public events cancelled etc etc......and I have too have had covid.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

This is just absurd now. Politicians do what they like, while imposing BS rules on the masses.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

People who call out this as stupid decision are same one who criticize government for insufficient measures to curb corona virus spread among citizens. So it seems they can never be satisfied.

Wow. Big if true.

Can you show an example of a single JT poster who has simultaneously called for harder measure and less restrictions?

Just a single one.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'll miss it. I love the Sumida River fireworks.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Work schedules, exams, due-date on taxes, rents, and bills are never canceled, for most any reason.

Probably cause those things actually matter.

Also, if anyone who hasn't actually been to those fireworks, just google some pictures.

FFS, bars are open, events are taking place, basically life is normal.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yeah this is getting ridiculous , its outside and everyone will be wearing a mask... we cant lock ourselves away anymore

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Most firework displays are sponsored by businesses

But the biggest is sponsored by a religious group - the PL fireworks at Tondabayashi (well it used to be the biggest - not sure if it still is). We used to watch from our balcony for a few years, until we moved further away.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For those angry about this decision, I hope you're not angry about things shutting down by or after GW. They are going to -- or at least another "quasi-SOE" -- and the government knows it and is finally starting to take the most obvious of steps.

There is not a single credible report of a person-to-person viral transmission anywhere in the world in an outdoor setting. Not a single one.

Meanwhile 26 million residents in Shanghai are forbidden from leaving their residences, and there are real worries about starvation in the city with increasing reports of revolting citizens who are at a breaking point.

All because of the completely insane and failed theory of "obvious steps" for zero covid.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

@albaleo Ask the WHO. That is the recommendation of the WHO.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yeah and how is social distancing possible on Tokyo rush hour commutes? This is BS. At least fireworks are outdoors!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Fireworks are a waste of money when they should be helping the homeless!!

Fireworks are a wonderful, popular part of Japanese culture enjoyed by all, including the many small businesses and food stall owners who benefit from it.

But lets suppose you want to throw money at the relatively small homeless population.

How do you spend it? Would that money be spent wisely? How specifically would you spend the money knowing its not a colossal waste?

It is important to be specific and sure. Because in your scenario, you have now taken away a popular, longstanding Japanese cultural heritage.

It better be worth it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I made the mistake of going to this once, soon after I arrived in Japan. Ridiculous crowds and bloody dangerous too as a crush or stampede could very easily occur.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

People, fireworks are just plain fun! Again, if the majority of people are vaccinated why is there fear? Why?

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

If the whole country is getting vaccinated by government "mandate", and this said vaccine is effective, why are they afraid of fireworks? This b o g g l e s my mind. 1984? Orwellian logic? Unbelievable. I cannot grasp the arguments and logic of these people anymore. It is truly absurd.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

No more "Tamaya!" this year either.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@iradickle

Probably cause those things actually matter.

People have to work to get the money to pay for those things.

Work and commuting are opened, yet traditional joyful events, are not.

There is more to life than work and paying bills.

FFS, bars are open, events are taking place, basically life is normal.

Normal except most are wearing a mask, and seeing faces is part of being a human being.

And attending traditional outdoor public events that bring people together is part of the experience.

These cancelations are not about health anymore, they're canceling traditions,

replacing joyful events with fear.

It's dehumanizing and isolating.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Fireworks are a waste of money when they should be helping the homeless!!

just watching money go up in smoke as others could use the money. No wonder Japan is bankrupt

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Mark these words, Golden Week will be either a quasi or real soe. The government are hearing up to it now.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Wow, that bites. My in-laws live right there and you have to have TICKETS to go on roof tops in the Hood. Yakuza?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Work schedules, exams, due-date on taxes, rents, and bills are never canceled, for most any reason.

This cancelation is a money-grubbing, joy-sucking, globalist decision, disguised as ‘for your benefit’...

This is not for your health or ‘benefit’.

It is meant to crush traditions, and demoralize all under the guise of ‘health’.

That’s what globalists do.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

People who call out this as stupid decision are same one who criticize government for insufficient measures to curb corona virus spread among citizens. So it seems they can never be satisfied.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

People, fireworks are just plain fun! Again, if the majority of people are vaccinated why is there fear? Why?

"Fear" is the irrational response against scientific knowledge that some people use to justify acting as they would like, what public health authorities are doing is recommending rational measures to avoid an increase of cases and prevent unnecessary deaths while in the middle of widespread infection.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

I was hoping that cancelation was due to the heavy emission carbon footprint of large fireworks displays, as a significant periodic single point source of CO2 released in the atmosphere, along with high levels of nitric oxide and sulfur dioxide. Along with high concentrations of heavy metals released into bays, beaches, and rivers.

Just not enough studies have been performed to address this problem on a regional or global scale; but with growing public awareness and dedicated carbon reduction strategies, hopefully strong leadership can forge agreement to study this issue on a globale scale. Low hanging fruit, ripe for the picking!

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Anyone who has been around Asakusa / Kuramae area for this fireworks festival will surely understand the reasons for the cancellation! Some comments above whine about the cancellation and these idiots are the ones who keep spreading corona virus and making life difficult for all of us! Unnecessary festivals like these when cancelled makes sense. Other more important things such as normal restaurant operating hours can remain as a result of this. But if these unnecessary festivals go ahead and a spike in corona cases occur then the government will once again bring back the early restaurant closures and restrictions which will disrupt all our lives!

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Thank goodness …. Absolutely the best possible decision. If people don’t want to do their part to stop the spread ….. then great job acting promptly and swiftly…. Hopefully all cities/prefectures will follow suit soon .

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

Cancel it permanently -- it's a nuisance anyway, and costs a fortune. For those angry about this decision, I hope you're not angry about things shutting down by or after GW. They are going to -- or at least another "quasi-SOE" -- and the government knows it and is finally starting to take the most obvious of steps.

-22 ( +4 / -26 )

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