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Giant graduation certificates given to schools in Japanese city amid pandemic

A graduating student poses for a commemorative photo in front of a large cutout of a graduation certificate at Ikeda Elementary School in Niiza, Saitama Prefecture, on March 24, 2021. (Mainichi/Masaaki Hashimoto)

NIIZA, Saitama -- A local commerce and industry association's youth branch donated an enormous replica of a graduation certificate to Ikeda Elementary School here on March 24, to help students create lasting memories of their graduation ceremony.

    After the ceremony, graduating students posed for photos in front of the certificate, placed in front of a wild cherry tree growing in the center of the playground -- a symbol of the school -- while their parents took pictures.

    The association donated the giant certificates to 23 elementary and junior high schools in the city of Niiza, Saitama Prefecture, for students whose school events and activities were restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    One graduating student at Ikeda Elementary School smiled and said, "I was surprised by how big the replica was. It helped me make great memories of my graduation ceremony."

    (Japanese original by Masaaki Hashimoto, Asaka Resident Bureau)

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