Sendai star festival draws large crowds despite fresh COVID wave

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Kyodo News

An annual star festival in the northeastern Japan city of Sendai, known for its hundreds of brilliant hanging decorations in shopping areas, commenced Saturday with the biggest crowds expected since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The Sendai Tanabata Festival adds to the list of major summer events being held in Japan following cancellations or restrictions on spectators in previous years due to COVID-19, although the country is now facing its seventh wave of infections driven by the highly transmissible BA.5 Omicron subvariant of the coronavirus. Organizers expect around 2 million peop…

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