New Japan Pro Wrestling has a plan for the future, but the company is refusing to move as quickly as some of their contemporaries.
In a video message released yesterday, NJPW President and CEO Harold Meij cites high infection rates in cities like Tokyo and calls empty arena shows an “unnecessary risk.” Furthermore, he said holding shows without fans under these circumstances “would reflect badly on ourselves and on our industry.” Meij does not mince words when making his final point, bluntly stating “we will not trade our reputation as a positive force for social good, even in the face of harsh economic realities.”
When the time is right, though, NJPW will move forward. Meij says empty arena shows will be filmed “when, and only when, the state of emergency restrictions are lifted, the number of new Coronavirus infections and declines and when matches can take place in properly disinfected and safe settings.”
The first step, Meij says, will be empty arena matches in Japan and at the NJPW Dojo in Los Angeles. The second step will involve fans being allowed back inside the building. All attendees will be given temperature checks upon entry, forced to wear a mask and comply by social distancing requirements.
Meij thanks for the fans of their support and understanding, assuring that “New Japan Pro Wrestling will be back soon, stronger and prouder than ever.”