Guide to reduce virus risks issued for schools before reopening
Kyodo -- Mar 24
The education ministry on Tuesday issued guidelines to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection in schools across Japan that are scheduled to reopen in April after monthlong closures, calling for thorough ventilation of classrooms and warning against gathering in clusters.

The guidelines also request that students and staff avoid conversing with others at close quarters, check their body temperature frequently and wear face masks.

If an infection is confirmed, the infected individual and those they were in close contact with are to be suspended, according to the guidelines. Temporary closure of classes or the entire school will also be recommended.

"The situation has not improved. We want (schools) to prepare (for reopening) without lowering their guard," education minister Koichi Hagiuda told a press conference.

The ministry asked education boards across the country on Feb. 28 to close their schools until the end of the spring break in early April as part of efforts to contain the virus outbreak.

But the request targeting elementary, junior high and high schools in the country was not mandatory and it was left to local authorities to decide how long the suspension should last.

Some elementary and junior high schools in Japan resumed classes on March 16, about two weeks after shutdown.

News source: Kyodo
Apr 07
Japanese language schools in the country are unable to welcome new overseas students as the government has invalidated visas issued in more than 170 nations due to the coronavirus pandemic. (NHK)
Apr 05
Double-income families raising children in Tokyo are under growing pressure to cope now that Japan's school closure request is expected to be extended due to the worsening coronavirus outbreak. (Nikkei)
Apr 05
As governments introduce social distancing rules of varying strictness to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the question of how long these measures should remain in place will likely spark vigorous debate. (Japan Times)
Apr 04
A proof by Japanese mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki of an over 30-year-old problem in number theory has obtained validation, Kyoto University said Friday following controversy over his theory often labeled as too novel and complicated to understand. (Kyodo)
Apr 02
Education authorities in Tokyo have decided to keep metropolitan senior high schools closed through early May due to the spread of the new coronavirus. (NHK)
Apr 01
Over a career in Japan spanning 21 years, Osaka-based English language teacher Steven Thompson has taken 10 days of paid sick leave across two occasions when he caught the flu. (Japan Times)
Mar 31
Two persons from Sendai City have been confirmed with the novel coronavirus after meeting with two Assistant Language Teachers (ALT) who also tested positive, reports Kahoku Shimpo (Mar. 30). (tokyoreporter.com)
Mar 31
Japan’s approach to halting the coronavirus pandemic might seem to other nations around the world like it is very social, and not so distant. (Japan Times)
Mar 29
What’s happening in Japan is written all over our faces — our blank, expressionless, masked faces. Never before, it seems safe to say, have so many people gone about masked. (Japan Times)
Mar 29
Non-Japanese speakers who want advice on the new coronavirus can call hotlines run by the Japan Tourism Agency and some local governments. (NHK)