Many high school students across Japan continued to wear face masks at their graduation ceremonies this week, even though Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said last month that there was no requirement to do so.
Kishida said that the government would not urge students and teachers to wear face masks at school graduation ceremonies as part of its plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions on March 13. However, he also said that schools should not force people who wish to keep wearing masks to remove them.
A one ceremony in Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture, all students and teachers wore masks during the ceremony. At Sendai Daiichi High School in the Miyagi prefectural capital of Sendai, about half of the students, mostly boys, did not wear face masks during their graduation ceremony.
Currently, Japan's education ministry recommends that students wear face masks in school whenever it is difficult to keep sufficient distance from others indoors.
Skepticism, however, is growing that many Japanese people will stop wearing face masks outside amid lingering fears about being infected by the coronavirus.© Japan Today/Kyodo