The Ibaraki Prefectural Government has launched a campaign to show appreciation for all medical personnel fighting the coronavirus pandemic, asking residents to clap for the workers.

The prefectural government announces a message around noon every day asking people to applaud for the medical workers for about 30 seconds.

The movement is spreading to other parts of the country, with a similar initiative having begun in the city of Fukuoka.

The campaign in Ibaraki, which began on April 9, is modeled on Clap for Carers, an initiative spreading mainly in Europe through social media to pay tribute to those working on the frontlines of the pandemic.

According to the Japan Nursing Ethics Association and other sources, some workers at medical institutions dealing with coronavirus infections have faced unreasonable experiences, such as being rejected by taxis and moving companies when moving house.

Petitioned by officials at pubic health centers for help in eliminating such discrimination, Ibaraki Gov. Kazuhiko Oigawa decided to launch the clapping campaign.

“With support from many people, we want to keep cheering up (medical workers),” a staff member of the Ibaraki prefectural government said.

“I want to express my appreciation for medical workers if it makes them feel any better,” a prefectural government employee in his 30s said.

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