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Some 110 evacuee students from Miyake High School joined Akigawa High School students in Akiruno, western Tokyo, in an athletic meeting Saturday that brought high spirits to what would otherwise have been a subdued event.

Akigawa High School, which is set to close next spring, has only 40 students — all boys in the third grade. In Saturday’s event, however, they were joined by their temporary classmates from Miyake Island, competing in various events ranging from a tug-of-war to a footrace.

Students and teachers of Miyake High School have been staying in dormitories at Akigawa High School since late August after a series of volcanic eruptions from Mount Oyama forced them to flee the island.

Despite downpours that forced the cancellation of some scheduled events later in the day, both participants and spectators — including some 100 elementary and junior high school students from Miyake — appeared to enjoy the event.

“It’s nice to have a joint athletic meeting like this. I’m happy to see the children happy,” said a 79-year-old islander, who came from his temporary home in Musashi Murayama, western Tokyo, to cheer his grandson.

The joint athletic meeting took place at Akigawa High School’s instigation.

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