Japan city mayor slams PM Abe’s request for school closures

People wear masks as they commute during the morning rush hour Friday in Tokyo. Photo: AP/Kiichiro Sato. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.


CHIBA, Feb 28, 2020, The Mainichi. A mayor in this greater Tokyo area city slammed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s abrupt request to close all schools in the country over coronavirus concerns, tweeting on the night of Feb. 27 that “society could collapse.”

Chiba Mayor Toshihito Kumagai tweeted a thread after the government announced its plan on the evening of Feb. 27 to request all of Japan’s elementary, junior high and high schools, as well as special needs schools, to close from March 2 until spring break. The mayor pointed out that there are families who will be unable to find a place for their children while they are out of school, such as those working in the medical and welfare sectors, as well as police forces and fire departments.

Kumagai then wrote, “We are considering taking children in at schools in cases where their families are unable to respond” to the school closures.

(Japanese original by Seiho Akimaru, Chiba Bureau)

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