FUKUSHIMA ― All 51 municipal elementary schools in the city of Fukushima will hold their sports festivals outside this year, starting Saturday, after two-thirds held them indoors or canceled them last year amid the nuclear crisis triggered by the March earthquake and tsunami, the city's board of education said Thursday.
Each school decided to hold the annual event outside after the amount of radiation measured on school grounds was reduced due to decontamination efforts, according to the board of education.
Last year, only 18 of the schools held their sports events outdoors, while 11 canceled them and 22 held them indoors due to radiation fears due to the triple meltdown crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 plant.
Some of the schools will take measures to avoid possible radiation contamination to the students by shortening the time schedule for the meets or canceling games that could force children to touch the ground, such as tug of war, the board of education said.
Schools typically hold sports festivals in spring or fall outdoors. But many schools in the city of Fukushima postponed the events to last fall and all of the spring festivals were held in indoor facilities.