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A district mayor in Japan’s biggest city is banning annual Halloween celebrations in the area.
Shibuya city Mayor Ken Hasebe held a news conference Thursday, when he discouraged Halloween party-goers from coming to the ward, which is famous for its annual celebrations.
“This year, we are making it clear to the world that Shibuya is not a venue for Halloween events,” Hasebe said. “Please, do not come to the Shibuya station area for Halloween.”
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People walk along a street during Halloween in the Shibuya district of Tokyo. (Photo by YUICHI YAMAZAKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Hasebe said the decision was made to prevent possible crowd-crushing disasters caused by over-packed streets.
“We have a strong sense of crisis that we may not be able to ensure the safety and security of residents and visitors,” he said.
The mayor specifically referenced a tragedy that occurred in the Itaewon district of Seoul, South Korea, last year, when over 150 people were killed in a massive crowd crush disaster.
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Shibuya Halloween party-goers celebrate in costume as thousands fill the streets for the holiday. (Photo by David MAREUIL/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
“A fatal accident like Itaewon can happen here any time,” he said.
Shibuya — known for its massive, highly-trafficked crossing area near its station — has been the site of annual Halloween bloc parties in recent years.
Past celebrations have brought thousands of Japanese and foreign partiers, clogging streets with elbow-to-elbow pedestrian traffic and widespread alcohol consumption.
People wearing costumes walk the streets as they take part to events to celebrate Halloween in Tokyo in the middle of the night. (Photo by David MAREUIL/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Halloween has seen a surge of interest in Japanese society in recent years, inspiring civil and corporate events themed around the foreign holiday.
Timothy Nerozzi is a writer for Fox News Digital. You can follow him on Twitter @timothynerozzi and can email him at [email protected]