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Japan Says Kids Can Speak During School Lunches in Covid Shift

Students eat lunch at their desks at an elementary school in Chiba, Japan.

Students eat lunch at their desks at an elementary school in Chiba, Japan.

Photographer: Nanako Sudo/The Yomiuri Shimbun/AP Images

Japanese schools are being asked to allow students to talk with classmates again during meals, as the country inches away from pandemic practices that have been a mainstay of daily life for nearly three years.

The education ministry issued a circular Tuesday on how to facilitate conversation between students after revised national guidance released last week removed lines that have advised against it.