Working Parents in Japan Shocked by School Closure Request

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Feb. 28 (Jiji Press)--Working parents in Japan were shocked by the government's abrupt request on Thursday to close all elementary, junior high and high schools in a bid to prevent a further spread of the new coronavirus in the country.

Many double-income and single-parent households expressed confusion and frustration over the development, with some saying the decision was made too hastily and others worrying how their children should spend so much time at home.

At a meeting on Thursday of the government's task force on countermeasures against the COVID-19 virus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on all such schools, including private schools and special schools for children with disabilities, to close from Monday until the end of the spring break.

"It's totally different from having the children stay at home during the summer break," Megumi Nagano, a 45-year-old instructor at a personal computer school in Chiba, east of Tokyo, said.

"School club activities will also be halted, and there will be no study courses like summer sessions available for children to attend," said Nagano, a mother of a nine-year-old elementary schoolgirl and a 13-year-old junior high schoolboy. Her husband is a corporate worker.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press