past perfect vs. present perfect

The following is an excerpt from an English newspaper published in Japan on Dec. 3.

  OSAKA--Public elementary and junior high school students here will be       allowed to bring mobile phones starting the next school year〉, but only use   them during natural disasters. …

  The education ministry issued a notice to all prefectural education boards effectively banning mobiles and smartphones at schools on the grounds that there is no direct need for such devices.

  The Osaka prefectural government 〈had followed the directive until now〉, with a few exceptions, such as for children who need to visit medical institutions when parents submit applications for treatment.

My question is about the past perfect “had followed the directive until now” in the last paragraph.

Shouldn’t this be the present perfect “has followed the directive until now” because the directive was issued in the past and has been followed until now?

 

 

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