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‘Terrorist threat’ causes temporary closure of Tokyo’s Hello Kitty theme park

‘Terrorist threat’ causes temporary closure of Tokyo’s Hello Kitty theme park
February 27, 2024

Hello Kitty Land Tokyo, also known as Sanrio Puroland, was forced to temporarily close on Saturday 24th February after receiving what it labelled a ‘terrorist threat’.

Since its opening in 1990, the park has welcomed some 1.5 million visitors each year to its 500,000 square meters, three-story indoor park - making it one of Japan’s most popular theme parks, along with Tokyo Disney Resort.

Hello Kitty Land Tokyo notified police around 9 a.m. that it had received a ‘terrorist threat’  email on Saturday 24th February warning that a ‘hazardous object had been placed on the premises. 

In a statement published on the park’s official website, operators noted “as we are unable to adequately ensure the safety of our customers, performers, and on-site staff, we have decided to temporarily close.”

Park operators added that an official police report was filed and refunds for tickets on Saturday were being considered.

“With cooperation from the police, we were able to verify that there are no longer any safety threats; therefore we will resume normal operations on February 25.

“We appreciate your understanding and cooperation. We apologize for the inconvenience caused… (and) will continue to work hard to ensure that everyone can enjoy the event with peace of mind.”

According to a report by Japanese broadcaster NHK and cited by Reuters, police did not find any suspicious objects.

The indoor theme park featuring Hello Kitty and other Sanrio characters opened in December 1990.

Sanrio Puroland was created with fans of Hello Kitty and her friends in mind. It’s a mecca where people can immerse themselves in meeting with Sanrio characters, enjoy various shows and take thousands of Instagrammable pictures.

The appeal of the cartoon cat Hello Kitty has been instrumental in spreading “kawaii” Japanese pop culture overseas.

Founding company Sanrio has grown into a retail and entertainment behemoth with amusement parks and restaurants throughout Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom.

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