The decision was made after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recommended that cultural events be canceled for the next two weeks as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread. The Japanese government has also told schools to begin their scheduled spring break several weeks early and not reopen until April. There have been more than 200 cases reported in Japan and at least four deaths.
“We are deeply disappointed,” NSO Executive Director Gary Ginstling said in a statement. “After multiple consultations with officials at U.S. government agencies and recommendations from the Japanese government, it became clear that these evolving circumstances are beyond our control.”
The tour was scheduled to include five concerts with Japanese violinist Akiko Suwanai in Fukui, Sakai, Hiroshima and Tokyo. On Feb. 4, the orchestra canceled three concerts in China that were to take place March 13-17.