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Tokyo's Sophia University holds entrance ceremony a year late over pandemic

First-year students at Sophia University take photos at an entrance ceremony held a year late, in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on March 29, 2021. (Mainichi/Takehiko Onishi)

TOKYO -- Universities across Japan are planning to hold entrance ceremonies for 2020's freshmen a year after the coronavirus pandemic forced them to cancel or postpone the events last spring.

    Sophia University held an entrance ceremony attended by about 720 first-year students on March 29 at its Yotsuya Campus in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. A total of around 2,000 participants will attend ceremonies set to be held over three days until March 31.

    Students took photos in front of an entrance ceremony sign, and celebrated their university lives which had started a year before. According to Sophia University, only around 10% of classes this academic year were held face-to-face.

    A 19-year-old first-year student at the Faculty of Humanities' Department of Journalism who attended the ceremony said, "I only attended in-person classes on five days of the year. I could see my friends, who I met on social media, for the first time."

    Institutions including Hitotsubashi University and Waseda University will also hold similar entrance ceremonies.

    (Japanese original by Takehiko Onishi, Photo Group)

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