Twelve SF State students in Japan are OK

Wednesday, March 16 9:10 a.m.

The twelve students from SF State who are studying at various institutions in Japan are all alive and doing well, according to an email from Associate Vice President of International Education Yenbo Wu

Updated: 5:50 p.m.

The Office of International Programs has reached one more student in Japan and he uninjured, according to an email from Associate Vice President of International Education Yenbo Wu.

SF State coordinates foreign Study programs with six institutions in Japan:Waseda University, Mejiro University, Aoyama Gakuin University, Oita University, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies. Emails to each university regarding the safety of SF State students have not been answered.

1:29 p.m.

While the Japanese mainland is attempting to cope with the devastation of an 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami, SF State is attempting to contact the 12 University students who are currently studying in Japan as a part of a foreign exchange program, according to Associate Vice President of International Education Yenbo Wu.

“We are doing everything we can, since about 4 a.m.,” Wu said.

Wu’s office sent emails to each Japanese institution that works with SF State, as well as each of the 12 students. Currently, the University has reached five students, all of whom are safe.

The other seven have yet to respond to the emails and with phone lines down, contact is difficult.

“The (other) universities have their own system to take care of them,” Wu said about aiding the students. “Most likely, they are safe.”

However, not only are SF State students in danger in Japan, but also their families.

The University currently has 178 Japanese students participating in matriculation programs on campus, eight foreign exchange students, and two visiting scholars.

Many of their families and friends live in the mainland, but because of communication troubles, knowing their situation is difficult.

“I was watching the news until three in the morning,” said SF State senior Hana Ko Fujimura, majoring in psychology. “I wish there was something I could do.”

The 22-year-old Fujimura moved to the United States eight years ago and her parents live in Orange County. Her friends, including Yosuke Ono, 21, are in Tokyo with no way to evacuate. The buses and trains are not running, her friends told her.

“There is nothing they can do,” she said, clearly worried. “My friends told me ‘let’s go out tonight.’ I know what’s going on, I don’t feel like going out.”