98.8 Pct of Japan Elementary Schools Shut after Abe Request

Politics

Tokyo, March 4 (Jiji Press)--In line with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's nationwide school closure request last week following the outbreak of the new coronavirus, 98.8 pct of all municipally run elementary schools in Japan have started extraordinary breaks, education ministry data showed Wednesday.

Of the 19,161 such elementary schools across the country, 18,923 are now closed, according to the data.

Meanwhile, 316 elementary and junior high schools in 20 municipalities have decided not to shut.

Among prefecture-run institutions, 3,314 high schools were closed in 46 of Japan's 47 prefectures, excluding Shimane in the western part of the country, according to the data as of 8 a.m. Wednesday (11 p.m. Tuesday GMT). So were 869 special-needs schools in 45 prefectures, excluding the eastern prefecture of Saitama and Shimane.

On Thursday last week, the prime minister called for all elementary, junior high and senior high schools, and special-needs schools, to be shut from Monday, in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press