— Published 28 June 2021

The Games not to welcome many schools


Predictable. The presence of Japanese schoolchildren at the competition venues of the Tokyo Games, announced as massive before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, is expected to be very small. The Japanese daily Mainichi Shimbun reports that more than half (60%) of the 280,000 tickets allocated to schools in the prefectures of Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa, on the outskirts of Tokyo, have been returned to the organisers. School officials have decided not to send students to the events to prevent spreading the virus. The Tokyo Board of Education is considering asking each municipality in the capital if it still intends to send students to the Games. But the latest trend suggests that favourable responses could be in the minority. In August 2019, before the pandemic began, it was announced that around 900,000 students from Tokyo and neighbouring prefectures would be able to attend the Games as part of a programme for Japanese schools.