Japan has announced that all schools will close from Monday 2nd March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The closure will affect around 13 million students.
Prime Minister Shinzō Abe announced the move to press last week. The closing of schools will continue until the school year ends in late March.
Mr Abe said the first weeks of March would be an “extremely critical period” for preventing virus transmission.
“The government attaches the top priority to the health and safety of children,” he said.
It follows China’s decision not to reopen schools on the mainland after the Spring Festival holiday and instead ask nearly 200 million students to follow classes online from their homes.
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Hong Kong is also keeping schools closed until April.
Officials say child daycare centres and after-school facilities can remain open.
More than 200 people have so far been infected with the coronavirus in Japan.
Globally, more than 80,000 people in more than 40 countries have been infected. Nearly 2,800 have died, the vast majority in China’s Hubei province.