Universities to celebrate new year, with conditions

What’s a Japanese spring without university entrance ceremonies in cherry blossom season? That’s precisely what happened last year after many festivities were cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID-19. One year later, universities nationwide are getting ready to hold a new round of entrance ceremonies and welcome new students, albeit with strict precautions observed by both the faculty staff and the freshmen, writes Kaori Shoji for The Japan Times.

The University of Tokyo, which was the first institution in Japan to hold online lectures when the outbreak emerged last year, announced earlier this month that an in-person entrance ceremony will be held at Nippon Budokan Hall – the university’s traditional venue – on 12 April.

Toyo University and Meiji University have booked the same venue. Some universities in the Kansai area are holding double ceremonies – one for freshmen students, and another for sophomores that missed out on their own in-person ceremonies last year. The big difference this year is that parents are banned from attending the entrance ceremonies. According to a survey of 6,000 parents conducted by Benesse Corp, 60% of mothers and 25% of fathers said they had attended entrance ceremonies for their college-age offspring in the past.
Full report on The Japan Times site