Japan's Prime Minister requests closure of all schools until April

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(CNN) — Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday asked all elementary, junior high and high schools to close from Monday until the end of March, when their spring vacation concludes.

The move comes amid fears over the spread of coronavirus in Japan, and after criticisms of how authorities there dealt with the quarantine of a cruise ship earlier this month.

A top Japanese government adviser has admitted that the quarantine measures enacted on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama may have allowed additional infections to spread among the ship's crew and passengers.

The number of confirmed cases in Japan has risen to more than 800 -- nearly 700 of which were reported on the cruise liner -- and seven people have died.

This story was first published on CNN.com. "Japan's Prime Minister requests closure of all schools until April."