Japan Govt Issues Notice Seeking Nationwide School Closure

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Feb. 28 (Jiji Press)--Japan's education ministry issued a notice on Friday calling for a nationwide emergency closure of schools from Monday until the start of the spring break in an effort to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in the country.

The notice, issued to education boards across Japan, is the first of its kind seeking a blanket closure of some 36,000 schools in the country. The measure will affect some 13 million students.

"We've concluded that the next couple of weeks will be crucial to overcoming the current situation," education minister Koichi Hagiuda told a press conference.

The ministry said municipalities and schools will decide how long schools will be closed. In addition, a ministry official said it will be up to schools to decide whether to call off classes, indicating that schools can choose not to close.

Students were asked to basically stay at home while schools are closed. They were also requested to take steps to protect themselves from the virus such as washing their hands.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press