New Japan Pro Wrestling Has Canceled Several Events Because Of The Coronavirus Outbreak

New Japan Pro Wrestling had an eventful March scheduled, with an Anniversary Event headlined by a Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiromu Takahashi champion vs. champion match and the New Japan Cup, but because of the coronavirus outbreak, many of those shows have now been canceled.

NJPW announced the cancellations today through its website, saying that, “In light of recommendations made on February 26 by the Japanese Ministry of Health connected to the new Coronavirus COVID-19, New Japan Pro-Wrestling has arrived at the decision to cancel all live events scheduled between Sunday, March 1 and Sunday, March 15,” and that the company will refund everyone who had bought tickets to these shows.

New Japan’s schedule changes come after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for, “the cancellation, postponement, or scaling down of large cultural or sporting events,” in Japan for the next two weeks.

There have been hundreds of reported cases of COVID-19 in Japan, and the disease has impacted sports and other public events, including professional soccer games and the Tokyo Marathon. In the pro wrestling world, joshi promotion Stardom canceled several events earlier this month and made one an empty arena show, and since the Prime Minister’s statement, DDT has also turned multiple events into no-spectator, streaming-only shows.