School Closures Begin as Japan Steps Up Virus Fight

Kyodo file photo

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Nearly all prefectures in Japan began shutting their schools Monday in a bid to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus, four days after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe surprised many with a request for a total school closure until early April.

As confusion spreads among many local authorities across Japan, some schools held their final classes or left facilities open for children who cannot stay home alone while their parents are at work. Shimane in western Japan, one of the prefectures not to have any reported cases of the virus, is the only prefecture to say it will not close any of its schools.

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