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100,000 students near Tokyo applaud medical workers struggling against virus

Children simultaneously applaud to show their gratitude to medical workers at Urawa Bessho Elementary School in Saitama's Minami Ward on June 15, 2020. (Mainichi/Asuka Ohira)

SAITAMA -- About 100,000 students at all 168 Saitama municipal schools simultaneously applauded on June 15 to express their gratitude to medical workers struggling against the novel coronavirus.

The Saitama Municipal Board of Education planned the event on the day regular classes resumed in the city north of Tokyo.

At Urawa Bessho Elementary School in Minami Ward, there was an announcement via the school PA system at 10 a.m. in the middle of the second classes of the day, saying, "Health care workers are fighting against the virus on the front lines. Let's give them a round of applause to show our sincere gratitude." Children, teachers and other school staff then applauded in the direction of the windows for 30 seconds.

Anna Yamaguchi, 8, a third grader at the school, said, "I clapped to show my appreciation as I've watched medical workers working hard on the news."

Representatives of students at four schools expressed their gratitude to frontline workers including doctors and nurses at eight medical institutions in the city via the Zoom online meeting system. Doctors smiled and responded, "Thank you for your powerful and sincere applause."

(Japanese original by Asuka Ohira, Saitama Nishi Bureau)

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