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Nintendo cancels its Live 2024 Tokyo event after persistent threats to workers and customers

A Nintendo sign is seen outside Nintendo's official store in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, on Jan. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File) A Nintendo sign is seen outside Nintendo's official store in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, on Jan. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
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TOKYO -

Nintendo cancelled its upcoming video game showcase and postponed several other events because of persistent threats to the company, its workers and players.

"We decided we could not amply ensure the safety of our customers," Kyoto-based Nintendo Co. said in an online statement Thursday.

The Japanese manufacturer behind the Super Mario and Pokemon cancelled Nintendo Live 2024 Tokyo, which had been set for Jan. 20 and 21. The annual event showcases Nintendo games and lets visitors sample them in a huge Tokyo exhibition hall.

Nintendo also postponed several contests, including the Japan championship for the popular ink-shooting game Splatoon, initially scheduled for later in December, as well as next year's Mario Kart and Splatoon contests.

The company declined to give details of the threats but said police were contacted.

Nintendo has been targeted before, but said the potential risk to the public proved too much.

The new dates for the postponed events will be announced later, Nintendo said.

"We apologize sincerely to all those who have been looking forward to the events," it said.

Cancellation of an event over threats is not common in Japan, a relatively safe, low-crime nation. But recently, complaints have surfaced about verbal and online abuse, raising concern that the problem may be serious.

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