Tokyo Motor Show has been cancelled as Japan faces another state of emergency

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Tokyo will not host its motor show this year because of the global pandemic, organizers said on Thursday (Apr 22), underscoring Japan’s struggle to contain both a resurgent outbreak and the widening economic fall-out.

The cancellation comes as the government is expected to issue a third state of emergency for Tokyo and a number of other prefectures that could last for about two weeks, according to media reports.

The halting of the auto show, a marquee event of the country’s most important industry, is also likely to raise more questions about the government’s insistence that the delayed Tokyo Olympics will go ahead this summer.

The chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Akio Toyoda, said the group felt it was difficult to provide a safe environment amid surging coronavirus cases. The show is normally held around late October to early November.

Such cancellations are bad news for an economy that, like many around the world, has been badly hit by the pandemic. Some analysts said another state of emergency could push Japan back into recession if retailers are asked to close during the Golden Week holidays, which start next week and run through early May.

“The risk of a double-dip recession has clearly heightened,” said Hiroshi Shiraishi, senior economist at BNP Paribas Securities. “The impact of imposing curbs on Tokyo and Osaka alone would be quite big.”


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