Since the beginning of March, NJPW have cancelled all their shows, due to coronavirus, the most recent being Wrestling Dontaku on May 3 and 4. Meanwhile, Japan declared a state of emergency in early April to avoid a larger number of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Harold Meij, NJPW President, took the time to talk to the fans through an open letter you can read here below.
As I’m sure you’re aware, last week we announced the cancellation of the remainder of the events on the Road to Dontaku Tour. Our latest 12 cancellations from April 19 in Korakuen to May 4 in Fukuoka join other events already cancelled from March 1 onward.
I know how much of a disappointment this is to fans who were looking forward to attending these events. Ticket holders are all being refunded, however, and as we closely monitor the situation with regards to events after May 4, ticket sales have been suspended or delayed accordingly to make the process as easy as possible for fans.
NJPW have been taking the ongoing global situation very seriously from an early stage. Currently, over 90% of our employees are working from home as we continue to do our civic duty as a company to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We, like you, are disappointed and frustrated at not being able to present the best professional wrestling on the planet on a live basis at the current moment in time.
As a result, we want you to join us in preventing the spread of this disease. Please wash your hands and gargle regularly. If you’re in essential work, we sincerely appreciate you and ask that you take precautions to stay safe and healthy; otherwise, please stay home and watch the wealth of content available as part of the NJPW World Together Project, from archived matches with English commentary for the first time to the fantastic My Dad Is A Heel Wrestler movie. Together we can make a powerful tag team that can kick out of this or any other crisis.
We are always proud of the greatest fan base in the world. Particularly in this uncertain environment, we are especially grateful to fans that have shown their support for New Japan Pro-Wrestling even without being able to see live events. Every Tokon Shop customer and NJPW World subscriber has our deepest gratitude and the appreciation of every single NJPW staff member and wrestler.
Make no mistake: we will get through this together. I firmly believe that the fighting spirit of New Japan Pro-Wrestling is one that can overcome any opposition. I look forward to the day the greatest wrestlers in the world can show that spirit in the ring once more.
Pics courtesy of NJPW