Universal Studios Japan marks 20th anniversary amid pandemic

Kyodo -- Mar 31
Universal Studios Japan in the western city of Osaka marked its 20th anniversary Wednesday, but without any large-scale events to celebrate the occasion due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The film-themed entertainment complex has grown into one of Japan's major tourist magnets. But a huge drop-off in the number of foreign visitors due to limits on entry to Japan to prevent the spread of the virus continues to weigh on its revenues.

Under the slogan of "No Limit!" to commemorate the anniversary, the amusement park has been holding dance events featuring characters from the popular U.S. television program "Sesame Street" since mid-March.

Shortly after its birth amid expectations it would boost the economy of the Kansai region in western Japan, the park faced an uphill battle as it initially had few facilities targeted at small children.

However, customer turnouts started to increase along with the launch in 2012 of areas aimed at small children and their parents. An attraction based on the blockbuster movie series "Harry Potter," which opened in 2014, added to the momentum.

- Kyodo