Japan's war memorial service to go online amid coronavirus spread

Kyodo News

Posted at Aug 04 2020 04:26 PM

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. File Photo. 14 November 2017, Manila. George Calvelo, ABS CBN News

TOKYO - The government said Tuesday it will, for the first time, livestream Japan's annual memorial service that remembers the victims of World War II, on Aug. 15, as the coronavirus pandemic has forced it to hold the event on a smaller scale.

On the 75th anniversary of the country's surrender, the health ministry will show the ceremony on its official YouTube account after deciding to reduce the number of attendees to a maximum of 1,400 from about 6,200 the previous year, as part of the efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

"We made special considerations so that people who, unfortunately, will not be coming can attend the event in this manner," Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Katsunobu Kato told a press conference.

Meanwhile, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will attend ceremonies marking the 1945 U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to be held on Thursday and Sunday, respectively.

Both ceremonies, which normally draw many elderly survivors and relatives of the victims, will also be held with fewer attendees this year to prevent the spread of the virus.

==Kyodo