All seven municipal elementary and junior high schools in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, reopened on Tuesday, following a closure due to a magnitude 7.6 earthquake on New Year's Day.

The schools — six elementary schools and one junior high school — resumed their classes by using vacant classrooms at Wajima Senior High School.

Classes have restarted at all public elementary and junior high schools in Ishikawa Prefecture, according to the prefectural board of education. High schools and special needs schools have already reopened.

The seven elementary and junior high schools in Wajima had been looking for places to reopen classes as the safety of their buildings has not been secured due to the quake, or their classrooms were used as evacuation centers.

Evacuees at Wajima Senior High School were asked to move from classrooms to the gymnasium.

"I'm looking forward to seeing my friends again," said Yuito Tanimoto, a 9-year-old third grader at Oya Elementary School. His mother, Satomi, said she hopes that her son will be able to make new friends because some of his friends have evacuated to other places.

"I'm happy to see the children come here," said Satoshi Tomizu, principal of Fugeshi Elementary School.

The seven schools will conduct classes only in the morning for the time being. They will accept students who can go to school on foot or with their parents as school bus operators were hit by the quake. Online participation will also be allowed.

There are still many students who cannot go to local schools because they have been evacuated to distant locations, according to the education board. Some Ishikawa municipalities, including Wajima, are also conducting group evacuations for junior high school students.