TOKYO – Thousands of people are set to flock to Tokyo’s international jewelry trade fair, one of the most important of its kind in Asia, which opened on Wednesday despite the ongoing state of alarm in Japan due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
International Jewelry Tokyo has been held in Japan for more than 30 years and this year, amid a health crisis, some 510 exhibitors are poised to welcome 30,000 visitors, according to organizers.
The fair will go ahead despite the recent decision from the Japanese government to extend the state of emergency beyond the capital to include seven other regions, including Osaka and Kyoto.
The state of emergency in Tokyo and its surrounding area is due to remain in place until at least Feb. 8. The measures include limits to social gatherings, such as a 5,000 person or 50% capacity cap in large event spaces.
IJT organizers said the domestic health restrictions would not affect the event although the number of participants is set to be lower than usual due to the current ban on international travel into Japan.
Health and safety protocols such as mask-wearing, temperature checkers and ventilation will be in place at the event.
The jewelry show is due to run from Wednesday to Jan. 16 at the Big Sight international exhibition center in Tokyo.
Participants at the event include artisans, manufacturers and distributors of traditional Japanese jewelry, traders of native Japanese pearls and diamonds and other sought-after gems such as sapphires, rubies, agate and emeralds.
In its 2019 edition, exhibitors from 32 countries around the world participated, and products were sold for a value of $30.6 million, according to data from the organization.