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Japanese schools opt out of Olympic ticket programme

Hundreds of schools across Japan have decided to opt out of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games ticket programme due to concerns over health and transportation.

According to Asahi Shimbun, about 300 schools have said they would not be attending or are considering not attending any events in the summer under the initiative.

The Local Organising Committee for the event has earmarked 1.3 million tickets for schoolchildren, with one million set aside for public and private schools in the capital.

Schools are mainly concerned about the possible health implications from the anticipated summer heat, as well as the issue of children needing to take several forms of public transportation to reach the venues.

One city government in the Tama region of western Tokyo decided not to allow first- through fourth-graders at all 15 elementary schools in its jurisdiction to take part.

The official in charge said, according to Asahi: “Students in lower grades are less physically strong and are more prone to heatstroke than those in higher grades. We did not have confidence that we would be able to ensure that students safely reach the venue.”

The Tokyo Olympics run from July 24 to August 9, followed by the Paralympics opening on August 25 and closing on September 6.