FUKUSHIMA – Twelve sixth-graders from the town of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, whose residents had to evacuate because of the nuclear catastrophe, held a graduation ceremony Friday at a makeshift school in another community.
The ceremony for the graduates of Namie Elementary School was held in Nihonmatsu, also in Fukushima Prefecture, where they are currently staying.
“It may take a decade or two before we recover from the disaster,” Namie Elementary Principal Kenichi Ishii said. “You are the ones who would play the leading role in the recovery process.”
After the triple-meltdown crisis started at the Fukushima No. 1 plant in March 2011, the school closed down for about five months before reopening at its current location, and its roster shrank to 30 from a predisaster 560.
The substitute Namie Elementary will not hold an entrance ceremony next month because there are no new enrollees.
On Friday, about 19,000 students graduated from some 480 public elementary schools in Fukushima Prefecture.