TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan will cancel its annual high school baseball spring tournament, public broadcaster NHK said on Wednesday, suspending one of the country’s most beloved sporting events because of the widening coronavirus crisis.
This is the first time to cancel the tournament, which was scheduled to be held from March 19 to 31, NHK said.
Japan’s professional baseball teams are holding games without spectators until March 15 due to the coronavirus outbreak and the same restriction has already been applied to the spring sumo tournament.
The number of coronavirus cases in Japan has surpassed 1,200, including those from a cruise ship, and claimed 19 lives just as the nation prepares to host the Summer Olympics in July and August.
Reporting by Takashi Umekawa; Editing by David Dolan/Peter Rutherford