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Takayoshi Maeda, principal of Senzoku Gakuen’s junior and senior high schools, apologized Thursday for letting a group of students go to New York, where two of them contracted swine flu, but said he thought he lacked the authority to cancel the special trip.

In all, the school sent six students and a teacher to attend the 10th Annual UNA-USA Model U.N. Conference in New York. The mock conference, which involved 2,600 high school students from about 100 countries, was organized by the United Nations Association of the United States of America, a nonprofit group that promotes U.N. activities in the United States.

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