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Governor to propose all schools in Japan reopen in Sept. amid virus closures

Miyagi Gov. Yoshihiro Murai (Mainichi/Atsuko Motohashi)

SENDAI -- Gov. Yoshihiro Murai of the northeastern Japan prefecture of Miyagi revealed his intention to propose reopening all schools across the country, currently under temporary closures due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, in September.

Murai indicated his recognition that "Tokyo cannot reopen schools on May 7" in a regular press conference on April 27 and said if schools were to restart classes at different times by regions, children "would still have the right to receive an equal education, but there would be a gap and that's fairly problematic."

He intends to suggest reopening schools at the same time in September to the National Governors' Association, and explained, "There are already plenty of governors who are in agreement."

Murai mentioned that September school enrollment is common overseas, and emphasized the significance that "it will boost the acceptance of foreign students, Japanese students studying abroad and globalization."

He added, "This is a major reform that we can't promote during ordinary times. To turn these challenges (posed by the new coronavirus) into an opportunity, it's time we started thinking about making September school enrollment permanent."

(Japanese original by Makoto Fukazu, Sendai Bureau)

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