Maiden Cancels Japan

Iron Maiden canceled its Japan tour because of the earthquake.

One of the reasons for the cancellation is that the Saitama Super Arena, where the group was scheduled to play, has been commandeered to house refugees from the area surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which is home to some 136,000 people.

A convoy of 40 buses comprising 1,200 refugees arrived at the arena March 19, which is about 20 minutes north of Tokyo by train.

Not counting makeshift arena seating, the venue seats 27,000. Volunteers dispensed food, newspapers and water in the corridors of the upper levels of the arena, where most of the arrivals camped out after setting up cardboard dividers to give their families a bit of privacy.

Though the majority of people were Japanese, announcements were also made in Chinese and English.

More refugees from the same area have been slowly filling the arena since.

Local media have been told that about 5,000 altogether will be temporarily housed there.