Chiba Pref. pulls out of Paralympic school program

The Japanese prefecture of Chiba has decided to pull out of a program to allow schoolchildren to watch Tokyo Paralympic events in person.

Chiba Governor Kumagai Toshihito announced the decision on Monday, saying many parents are worried about the safety of their children.

Before the Paralympic Games began, more than 23,100 students in the prefecture had been expected to take part in the program.

The governor had said the plan should go ahead with strict anti-coronavirus measures in place, as it has great educational value in raising inclusivity awareness.

But the announcement on Monday came after a string of last-minute cancellations and the confirmation that two teachers who took students to a Paralympic event have tested positive for the virus.

The governor said that although the two teachers were believed to have been infected before going to the event, all remaining participation will be canceled, starting Tuesday.

Kumagai said it would require more precautionary measures, such as PCR tests, to assure the parents and teachers of the children's safety, and that would be a huge burden.