• Kyodo


A U.S. military base in Yamaguchi Prefecture lifted on Monday its request for Japanese employees to refrain from sending their children to local schools, which it originally made in a bid to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Our local area has had zero new cases for some time, which has allowed us, as a base, the opportunity to re-evaluate our COVID prevention measures,” read an update posted Sunday evening on U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni’s official Facebook page by Col. Lance Lewis, commanding officer of the base.

Although dozens of children had been absent from elementary and junior high schools in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture, following the request, many returned to school on Monday, according to the city’s board of education.

Iwakuni had reopened its elementary and junior high schools on May 7.

A number of other restrictions were also relaxed by the base effective Monday, including allowing takeout and drive-through at local convenience stores and authorizing the use of essential services such as gas stations.

The Facebook update contained praise for the efforts of military personnel in curbing the spread of the virus, saying “the world has watched as we have kept our base safe, continued operations at full speed, and have provided THE shining example of what it means to be the Navy-Marine Corps Team.”

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