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Tokyo elementary school welcomes students in controversial Armani uniforms

JIJI

A public elementary school in Tokyo’s upscale Ginza district has welcomed new students amid a lingering controversy over its pricey Armani uniforms.

On Friday, all 56 first-graders — except one absentee — wore the Armani outfits proposed by Taimei Elementary School.

While not formally required, the school’s recommendation effectively makes the attire official uniforms.

The outfits have come under criticism from some parents as they cost more than ¥80,000 per set, including optional items such as a sweater.

Friday’s school entrance ceremony was not open to the media.

“We’re relieved to have held the entrance ceremony,” principal Toshitsugu Wada said in a statement. “We’ll work to improve our education so children find attending school pleasurable.”

After the decision was made to recommend Armani uniforms, seven children dropped plans to enter the school, with parents citing disagreements over its education policy, decisions to join private schools or other reasons, according to Chuo Ward, where the school is located.

In March, the education ministry issued a notice urging local education boards across the nation to make sure that costs for public school uniforms do not impose excessively heavy burdens on parents.