— Published 31 August 2021

Chiba also gives up


One more. The prefecture of Chiba, close to Tokyo, has announced its decision not to send children from its schools to the Paralympic Games. The announcement came from the Governor of Chiba, Kumagai Toshihito. He justified the decision to forego this opportunity by the fear expressed by many parents at the idea of their children participating as spectators in an event that is always viewed with suspicion by the Japanese population. Before the start of the Paralympic Games, more than 23,100 schoolchildren in the prefecture were to take part in this operation, which has been set for several years now by the Tokyo 2020 Games Organising Committee. The decision by the Chiba authorities came after a series of last-minute cancellations of schools in the prefecture, following the confirmation of two COVID-19 cases among teachers who had taken students to a Paralympic event. The governor explained that it was likely that the two teachers had been infected before travelling to the events, but that the rest of the programme was cancelled in its entirety as of Tuesday, August 31st. The day before, Tokyo Organising Committee CEO Toshiro Muto told a press conference that 8,000 children had attended the Paralympic Games on Sunday, August 29th. As a reminder, schoolchildren are the only spectators allowed to watch the events.