Many parts of Japan, School after suffering from a huge loss of study decided finally to continue after a month, putting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on course to declare a state of emergency.
At an elementary school in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, some 230 students took part in a ceremony marking the start of the new academic year.
During proceedings, the children stood two meters apart in the schoolyard while the principal instructed them to thoroughly wash their hands and check their temperatures every day.
“I am glad I was able to meet my friends after a while. The cherry blossoms are beautiful and the ceremony outside felt nice,” said Kanon Nakamura, 11.
Schools in Tokyo and other areas where infection counts are growing remained closed and are expected to stay that way for at least another month. Some local governments retracted earlier decisions to resume and have extended closures.