The Japan Post reports that EMS and Airmail shipments from Japan to the United States will cease, beginning April 24th, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Originally reported by Tokunation, Japan has already canceled SAL shipments for the same reason. This will drastically affect the ability of retailers and individual hobbyists to import goods from Japan.
Orders that are already in the middle of being processed by EMS and Airmail may experience delays, but it is assumed that they will be fulfilled. New orders will no longer be received.
While anime studios have announced delays and Japanese fan events have been cancelled; the restriction of EMS, Airmail, and SAL poses a more direct restriction on fans to consume material goods. This will include both direct retailers who ship to Japan, and importers who act as middlemen for western consumers. Online retailer J-List has responded by increasing their reliance on the DHL shipping service.
Japan has declared a state of emergency that will last through May 6th. However while it has yet to be formally extended, the escalating restrictions on services like EMS and Airmail reveal the impact the coronavirus pandemic is having in Japan.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic (also known as COVID-19 officially, or Chinese Flu to others) has affected many worldwide, from businesses to public gatherings and events. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].
This includes the postponement of GDC, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, along with the cancellation of E3 2020 (including digital events), the physical event for Gamescom 2020, and Comiket 98.
We also recently reported on the Pokemon anime being delayed in Japan, along with Toei Animation suspending the broadcasts of One Piece and Digimon Adventure;.
The Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering are mapping the virus’ spread [1, 2]. As of this time of writing, there have been over 2.639 million total confirmed cases worldwide, and over 1.741 million active cases. There have been over 183,000 deaths, however over 715,000 people have made a “total recovery.”
Japan have had over 11,950 cases (10,227 active cases), 299 deaths, and 1,424 recoveries.