Temporary closure of Japan’s schools

As of February 28th, 2020, MEXT asked elementary schools, junior high schools, senior high schools, schools for special needs education and upper secondary specialized training schools to be temporary closed from March 2nd. This request is based on a view from experts, that we will be at a critical moment over the coming one to two weeks regarding whether the outbreak of COVID-19 spreads rapidly or is controlled. Please note that it is meant to be a preventive action, and there has NOT been group infection among children in Japan.
The decisions on whether schools are to be closed or not, as well as the modalities of closure are left to local governments and other parties that established schools.

As of March 24th, MEXT announced a new guideline for the reopening of schools after spring break and another new guideline for temporary closure in the new school term.
We are fully aware of the existing risk of COVID-19 explosive spread, which could take any area as the starting point, and hence, everyone in the field of education should never let their guard down, including during this spring break.
Based on this premise, the guideline for the reopening of schools provides how to avoid contributing factors of infection. And the second guideline suggests how to determine whether the school should be closed on a temporary basis, in case of an infection of children, students or teachers.

As of April 1st, MEXT revised its guideline for temporary closure in the new school term, to suggest how to determine the temporary closure based on the overall situation in the community, even if there are no infected people in the school.

UPDATES:
As of May 25th, the state of emergency in Japan was lifted, which was declared for the first time on April 7th. However, in light of the global situation, we still should never let our guard down, and we may have to live with this new infectious disease for a long time to come.
In Japan, most of the schools that had been temporarily closed have already reopened as of June 1st, but it is important for everyone in the field of education, to keep the tension depending on the local situation, and to ensure children's learning with the utmost care for infection prevention.

Study in Japan

International students from some countries may have to postpone their study in Japan, due to the travel restriction. MEXT has already requested all universities in Japan to take care of such occasions flexibly, so if you have any problems and concerns on the schedule of your arrival to Japan, please kindly contact the focal point of each university directly.
To All International Students Studying in Japan <List of Programs Available to International Students> [Updated May 21]

Emergency Student Support Handout for Continuing Studies  (PDF:68KB) PDF

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on HE and MEXT’s main countermeasures  (PDF:84KB) PDF

Participate sports and cultural events in Japan

As of February 26, 2020, MEXT (Japan Sports Agency and Agency for Cultural Affairs) asked some large sports and cultural events to be canceled or postponed voluntarily by their organizers. In response to this request, some stadiums, museums and other sites of tourism may be temporarily closed. It is therefore suggested to check on the websites whether they are open/active or not, before you visit.  

 

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