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
Jul 14
Schools in the southwestern Japanese city of Hitoyoshi have reopened, after heavy rain caused floods and mudslides in the area recently. (NHK)
Jul 13
A national facility devoted to the indigenous Ainu people and their culture opens on Sunday in their ancestral region of Hokkaido in northern Japan. (NHK)
Jul 09
About a third of parents in Japan postponed vaccinating their children during the coronavirus pandemic amid fears of catching an infection, a survey by a nonprofit organization showed Monday. (Japan Today)
Jul 08
In a move that will affect Japanese studying in the U.S., the government there said Monday that international students attending American universities will have to depart the country or transition to another college if their classes are moved entirely online for the fall semester amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Japan Times)
Jul 05
Major Japanese wireless carriers recently launched a service to provide foreign tourists with disaster relief information via mobile phone short message service in the event of an earthquake or typhoon. (Kyodo)
Jul 04
Single mothers and women with less secure jobs in Japan have seen their employment opportunities upended as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage. (Japan Today)
Jul 03
More than 3,400 elementary and junior high school students and teachers have contracted food poisoning at 15 schools near Tokyo due to school lunches, local authorities said Thursday. (Kyodo)
Jul 02
The Japanese government compiled Wednesday a package of policy measures to promote women's empowerment, including a possible law revision to address cases of unpaid child support payments after divorce. (Japan Times)
Jul 02
A day after China passed and enacted a new national security law to govern Hong Kong, Japanese lawmakers kicked off official discussions over ways to welcome financial talent that may be contemplating leaving the international financial hub. (Nikkei)
Jul 02
Immigration authorities have resumed processing of visa applications, in a move expected to speed up entry clearance for foreign nationals with applications stuck in pending. (Japan Times)