Operations Update: Evacuation from Japan and Shift to Online Courses for Spring 2020

Dear AKP Community,

Wednesday night in the US, the Trump Administration announced a mass travel ban covering all of Europe starting from Friday. Following this announcement, the US Department of State raised a Level 3 Global Health Advisory on its website, asking citizens to reconsider all international travel in general. 

Two weeks ago, AKP laid out to its students and community a policy to evacuate the program should either the US Department of State or Centers for Disease Control issue a Level 3 Advisory for either the country of Japan or the Kyoto area. Approximately a week later, AKP added that if there were a significant change beyond the aforementioned advisory upgrades that would prevent AKP students from safely leaving Japan, the AKP Board of Directors would re-evaluate a possible program evacuation in conversation with home institutions. The two changes Wednesday night, though not targeting Japan specifically, indicated to us a very real possibility of traveling conditions worsening internationally within the coming days and weeks.

As such, the AKP US Office consulted with its Board of Directors and home institution partners. The Kyoto Center also touched base with local partners to better understand the significance of the new DOS Level 3 Global Health Advisory. Our conclusion from these conversations is that, while Japan is still relatively stable despite the community spread, there is great uncertainty surrounding many things going forward.

Given all these factors, the AKP Chair made the difficult decision, with the approval of the AKP Board of Directors, to suspend the program in Japan, evacuate its students, and transition the remainder of the program online. While we know that this must be a disappointment to many, our students’ health and well-being has always been our highest priority.

Instructions have been sent to all students, parents, and home institutions regarding the timeline going forward. All students will receive credit for their work at the end of the semester.

Thank you all for your understanding and cooperation. Both the Kyoto Center and US Office are here to support our community during this transition. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to [email protected] or 909-621-8884.