Children from Ukraine start attending schools in central Japan

Four children from Ukraine have started attending schools in Nagano Prefecture, central Japan.

Nine Ukrainian evacuees, including four children aged 8 to 13, now live in Takamori Town. The town has ties with Ukraine through the Japanese martial art of karate.

On Monday, three of the children introduced themselves in Japanese during a meeting at a local elementary school. Other students applauded to welcome them.

The three children looked nervous. But they started smiling when their new schoolmates showed them to their shoe lockers and classrooms.

Town officials say the children from Ukraine will go to school three days a week.

They say the children will join other students in physical education and art classes, and use other time slots to learn Japanese.

One of the young evacuees said he is looking forward to swimming and drawing classes. He said he wants to make about 100 friends.

A fourth-grader said he wants to make friends with all of the new students from Ukraine. He said he also wants to learn a lot about their home country.