• Kyodo

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A 49-year-old man has been arrested after refusing to vacate a toilet cubicle after he was disqualified from taking the standardized university entrance exams for not covering his nose with a face mask, despite receiving multiple warnings, police said Tuesday.

After being ordered to leave the English exam he was taking, the man locked himself in the cubicle at the test venue in Tokyo for about three hours until his arrest around 10 p.m. Saturday, according to the police. Test-takers were not allowed to take the exams unless they wore facial masks "correctly" due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The man, whose name has been withheld, did not obey an order to come out and a police officer was forced to climb over the cubicle wall to reach him, they said.

The operator of the nationwide exams said Sunday the test-taker refused to obey supervisors' instructions to cover his nose with his mask, despite being asked six times and told he would be disqualified if he ignored a final warning.

The man continued to refuse, in violation of rules set by the National Center for University Entrance Examinations to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, and was asked to leave.

The National Center for University Entrance Examinations has said on its website and leaflets for students that people cannot take the exams unless they wear face masks "correctly."

The center allows those who cannot wear facial masks due to such reasons as medical conditions to take the exams in a separate room as long as they ask to do so one day prior to the tests. But the test-taker in question did not provide any special reason beforehand, it said.

The first round of the nationwide standardized university entrance exams was held over the weekend. Organizers took strict anti-coronavirus measures in addition to requiring masks, such as social distancing, disinfecting students' hands, ensuring that venues are well ventilated and making test-takers eat lunch alone.

The exams held at 681 venues across Japan drew a total of 535,245 applicants, according to the center.

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