TOKYO - A student taking Japan's standardized university entrance exams was disqualified Saturday for refusing to cover his or her nose with a facial mask in violation of rules set by the exam operator to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The operator said Sunday the test-taker in Tokyo disobeyed exam supervisors' instructions to cover the nose, despite being told to do so 7 times in total. It did not disclose the student's gender or age and said the reason for the student's refusal was unknown.
The National Center for University Entrance Examinations has said on its website and leaflets for students that people cannot take the exams unless they wear facial masks "correctly."
The center allows those who cannot wear facial masks due to such reasons as medical conditions to take the exams in a separate room as long as they ask to do so 1 day prior to the tests. But the test-taker in question did not provide any special reason beforehand, it said.
Although a supervisor warned the student of possible disqualification before the seventh and last instruction, the student continued to disobey the instruction and was failed in the exam, according to the center.
The first round of the nationwide standardized university entrance exams was held over the weekend. Organizers took strict anti-coronavirus measures in addition to requiring masks, such as social distancing, disinfecting students' hands, ensuring that venues are well ventilated and that test-takers eat lunch alone.
The exams held at 681 venues across Japan drew a total of 535,245 applicants, according to the center.