NJPW President Harold Meij explains why the company has yet to run any events since the coronavirus pandemic hit Japan.
Talking for almost 10 minutes, Meij explained why the company has stayed put and refused to run any events closed to the public, something WWE and AEW have been doing for weeks.Meij gave three reasons as to why there have been no empty arena events.
The first is due to the health and safety of the wrestlers. Since the coronavirus is still present in countries all over the world, including Japan, Meij said he didn’t want to run any unnecessary risks by putting on events even with no fans.
The second reason was the inability to run any venues. Meij said there are a lot of venues across Japan that have been closed off and refused to run any shows, even if they were done with no fans in attendance. Given that NJPW does not own any facilities to run events, it would be incredibly hard for them to book any arenas whatsoever.
Lastly, Meij said he didn’t want to risk “NJPW’s Corporate Social Responsibility.” Meij said the company doesn’t want to risk jeopardizing its positive reputation as a company for the sake of doing shows. He did note that NJPW World subscriptions have not gone down significantly.
Although the company hasn’t done any empty arena matches as of this writing, Meij did say that empty arena events will be the first step for NJPW’s return. Meij said empty arena shows will only start once the state of emergency restrictions have been lifted and the number of coronavirus cases go down.
Once NJPW does allow fans to re-enter shows, Meij said wrestlers will be subject to rigorous health checks and all fans attending shows will be subject to thermographic tests. Masks will be compulsory and the venues will be thoroughly disinfected and ventilated. Spaces will be left in between seats to comply with social distancing. No timetable for those events was mentioned.
Meij ends the video by saying that times may be tough but urges wrestling fans to band together to help combat the coronavirus and adds that NJPW will return stronger than ever.
The full video can be seen at the top of the page.