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IMPORTANT NOTICE: APU response to novel coronavirus/COVID-19 (Updated August 11, 2020)

お知らせ

Aug 11, 2020

Latest Update: August 9, 2020
  • Change: Precautions for Students to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 during Summer Break
For update history, click here
Latest Update: August 3, 2020
  • Change: Rescheduling the Graduation Ceremony
For update history, click here

To all students:

August 11, 2020

As you all have probably heard by now, some APU students in Beppu have been infected with the novel coronavirus.

The first infections were confirmed Saturday, August 8. After that, public health officials—with the cooperation of the university—investigated the activities and movement of the infected students and identified other close contacts who were tested, more infected students were identified, and the infected students have been hospitalized and placed in isolation. Through this process, other infected individuals have been identified among the close contacts of the students; presently a total of 14 people—13 APU students and one APU graduate—have been confirmed to be infected with the novel coronavirus. Fortunately, at this time none of the infected individuals are showing any serious symptoms.

Health centers and the university have already reached out to other people who were in close contact with the infected individuals. Because classes for the spring semester were conducted online, activities of the students have been limited. Many of you may be worried now that the coronavirus has appeared in our student population; we should all remain calm and act appropriately.

On August 7, the university posted "Precautions for Students to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 during Summer Break." On August 9 I issued a message to all students, and on August 10 I released a message for the local citizens.

Once again, I ask every one of you do your part to prevent spreading the infection by following the points listed below.

1. Prevent infection every day!

1) Avoid the “Three Cs” (Closed spaces with poor ventilation, Crowded places with many people nearby, and Close-contact settings), to include close-range conversations in indoor spaces, singing aloud or other activities with shouting or yelling, and exercise that causes heavy breathing.
2) Keep a distance of two meters or more between people.
3) Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, use hand sanitizer, wear a mask, and ensure proper ventilation.
4) Take your body temperature every day. If you experience any cold-like symptoms or if you are not feeling well, rest at home.
5) Students who travel from or return to Oita Prefecture should avoid any unnecessary movement for 14 days and carefully monitor their physical condition.
6) Install the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare's contact tracing app.
Note that this series of infections spread when a group of students gathered for a dining party. Gathering with other people to eat together falls under number 1), above. For now, please do not get together for dining parties.
Do not visit or bring any food to any infected students.

2. If you think there is a possibility you may be infected, contact the following:

1) Potential infections

(1) If you have any of the following serious symptoms: Shortness of breath (dyspnea), extreme fatigue, or a high fever.
(2) If you are prone to serious illness (if you are elderly; if you have preexisting conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or respiratory disease; if you are undergoing dialysis; or if you are taking immunosuppressants or receiving treatment for cancer; or if you are pregnant) and have a fever, cough, or other comparatively light cold-like symptoms.
(3) If you do not fall under one of the categories listed above and have a fever, cough, or other relatively light cold-like symptoms.

2) Contact Information

Saturday, August 8 – Sunday August 16: consult@apu.ac.jp
When emailing, include a completed Medical Condition Check Sheet.
Download the Medical Condition Check Sheet here:
http://en.apu.ac.jp/home/notice/content3/Your_condition_check_sheet.xlsx
Monday, August 17 and after: APU Health Clinic
booking@apu.ac.jp

Finally, I would like to appeal to all students. The coronavirus can infect anyone. Do not single out, identify, criticize, or discriminate against any students who have been infected.

As the opening declaration of the university says, APU is "a place where the young future leaders from countries and regions throughout the world will come to study together, live together, and understand each other's cultures and ways of life, in pursuit of goals which are common to all mankind." I ask once again that each of you take pride in being a part of this unique community, and conduct yourselves appropriately.

For now, each of us must do our part to stop the spread of this infection by carefully following the instructions listed above under "Prevent infection every day!" Everyone in the local community is very worried about the spread of the infection, and are also very concerned about the health and welfare of you, our students. I sincerely ask that each and every one of you be aware of your actions.

Haruaki Deguchi
President
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

Precautions for Students to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 during Summer Break (Updated August 9, 2020)

Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise again in Japan. In response, the university is issuing the following precautions to students. We ask that you take all appropriate actions to protect your health and safety and the health and safety of those around you. If you will be participating in an internship, pursuing job search activities, returning home, going on vacation, or otherwise traveling between Beppu/Oita and other prefectures during the summer break, please check the status of infections of any regions you will be visiting and act to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Be sure to comply with the following six items. Failing to follow these instructions may mean you will face restrictions on your ability to take classes at the university or participate in events.

  1. Wear a mask when you go out.
  2. Avoid the "Three Cs" (Crowded places, Close-contact settings, and Confined/enclosed spaces).
    (Reference: WHO Facebook) Please refrain from not only outside restaurants,Bar and Karaoke but also home parties. Please take actions to avoid the risk of infection.
  3. Thoroughly monitor your health on a daily basis.
    Keep an eye on your health and check your temperature every day. If you experience any of the symptoms listed below, stay inside and contact your doctor or one of the following institutions.
    8/8 (Sat) - 8/16 (Sun) Email:consult@apu.ac.jp
    Fill in Condition Check Sheet and attache to Email. Click here for Condition Check Sheet.
    8/17 (Mon) onwards APU Health Clinic
    Email: booking@apu.ac.jp
  4. Symptoms requiring consultation
    • If you are suffering any of the following severe symptoms: shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, or high fever
    • If you are more susceptible to infection (e.g., a person with a preexisting condition like diabetes, heart disease, or respiratory disease (COPD etc.), a person undergoing dialysis, or a person taking immunosuppressants or anti-cancer drugs) or are pregnant and are suffering relatively mild cold symptoms like a slight fever or a cough
    • If you have been suffering from relatively mild cold symptoms like a slight fever or a cough for some time
  5. Be sure to wash your hands and gargle regularly.
    Reference: Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare pamphlet:
    https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/10900000/000597149.pdf
  6. Practice self-isolation if you travel outside of the prefecture.
    If you travel outside of the prefecture and come back are asked to rest at home, avoid leaving home for nonessential, non-urgent reasons, and monitor your health for 14 days.
  7. Download and install Cocoa.
    Cocoa is the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare’s contact-confirming application. This helps prevent the spread of infections.

    To install the app:
    ・Search the App Store or Google Play for “Cocoa COVID-19” and install the app on your phone.

To all students of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

August 9, 2020

You may have already heard the announcement from Oita Prefecture confirming that multiple APU students have been infected by the novel coronavirus. Everyone in the local community as well as all of us at the university are very concerned. APU is taking this situation very seriously.

It is extremely important that every one of us take appropriate measures to prevent any further spread of this infection. I want to remind you all of the fundamental actions we must all take to stop the spread of the infection:

  • Wear a mask when going out and when around other people
  • Frequently wash your hands thoroughly and use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid the "Three Cs" (closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings)
  • Carefully monitor the condition of your health to include taking your temperature every day

Even if you carefully follow all of the measures listed above, there are situations where the risk of infection will be extremely high no matter what you do. One of the riskiest things you can do right now is attend dining parties of any kinds. At a party like this it is inevitable that people will remove their masks to eat and talk. We must all avoid situations like this—not only gatherings in restaurants, but also home parties.

Once again: I strongly encourage every one of you to protect yourself and those around you by taking all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of this infection, and to prevent spreading this infection to others.

Last but not least, I sincerely hope that all of the students infected with the coronavirus will recover as quickly as possible.

Haruaki Deguchi
President

To the residents of Oita Prefecture and Beppu City

August 10, 2020

To the residents of Oita Prefecture and Beppu City:

You have likely heard recently in the news or other media that a total of 14 APU students and graduates have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the three days from August 8 through August 10. These cases have surely been a cause for concern for the citizens of the city and the prefecture. At the same time, we would like to express our deep gratitude for the many words of warm encouragement we received for the infected students. APU takes this situation seriously and will continue to make every effort to prevent the spread of infection, while seeking guidance from Oita Prefecture and public health centers.

The students who have contracted the virus have not traveled out of the prefecture for the two weeks before the infection was discovered, and because classes for the spring semester have been conducted entirely online, they have not been to the APU campus.

I must apologize for the concern this has caused to the citizens of the city and the prefecture who have been so supportive through community activities and part-time work opportunities. I am afraid that this may force some restaurants and businesses to close temporarily, which will doubtless affect the lives of many people.

In these current conditions anyone can be infected by the coronavirus. Yesterday I made another strong appeal to our students to do their part in preventing the spread of this infection by not attending dining parties, avoiding the "three Cs" (closed spaces, crowded places, and close- contact settings), and installing the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare's contact tracing app. We will continue to provide thorough guidance to our students.

APU students—both domestic students from all over Japan as well as international students from around the world—have grown and developed with the support of everyone in Beppu and Oita Prefecture, sharing many precious experiences together. Beppu and Oita are very dear to our students and alumni, and many of them consider this their second home. I hope that the citizens of the city and the prefecture will continue to watch over APU's students with warmth and care.

Haruaki Deguchi
President
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

Conducting 2020 Fall Semester Classes at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (Updated June 30, 2020)

To all APU students:

University administrators are currently working out the details of the university's policies for 2020 Fall Semester classes, the basics of which are described below. We will notify all students of the details once they are finalized, which should be in July.

Outline of the 2020 Fall Semester Class Implementation Policy
  • Classes that can be conducted in-person while avoiding the "three Cs" (closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings) will, in general, be conducted as hybrid classes, with some students attending in-person on campus and other online via the Zoom online meeting application.
    * Hybrid classes will permit students to attend class either in-person or online via Zoom.
  • Large lectures and other classes where it will be difficult to avoid the three Cs will be conducted online-only.
  • While appropriate measures to prevent infection will be taken as necessary for hybrid classes, these classes will be moved to online-only if a state of emergency is declared, or if there is a growing concern of infection in the classroom.

While there are some countries and regions in the world where the number of cases is increasing, in Japan and other places the number of cases is decreasing. If we were to consider only the situation in Japan it could be possible to hold fall semester classes in-person, but as APU is a university where students from 90 countries and regions around the world gather to study and learn, it is possible some of our students will be unable to enter the country even in the fall semester if Japan's immigration restrictions continue.

As you all know, one of the characteristics of education at APU is that students from around the world gather here to study and learn together. It may be difficult to bring all of our students together on campus given the present situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. That said, I think we can continue to achieve essential learning at APU through hybrid classes while giving sufficient consideration to the health, safety, and lives of our students, faculty, and staff.

In addition, with students attending hybrid classes, even if the government officially declares a second state of emergency we will be able to quickly move all classes to Zoom, allowing students to take courses in the same way in the Spring Semester.

It will probably take a little more time before we are able to return to a more traditional campus life, but until that day comes, our faculty and staff are working together every day to ensure that all of our students can continue their studies at APU.

Thank you for your understanding, and I wish you all well in your studies.

Haruaki Deguchi
President
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

June 30, 2020

Online classes to begin Thursday, May 7, 2020 (Updated May 5, 2020)

To all APU students:

Online classes for the first quarter of the spring semester will begin Thursday, May 7.

With the nationwide state of emergency declaration on Thursday, April 16, APU responded by prohibiting students from entering campus, and by requiring faculty and staff to work from home as much as possible. This made it impossible to allow students to use computer classrooms and also made some preparations for online classes difficult, so we originally postponed the start of classes to Wednesday, April 22.

After that, the university then moved to make free Wi-Fi router rentals available and decided to provide each regular APU undergraduate and graduate student with 30,000 yen in financial assistance to support all students to secure the appropriate equipment and internet connection necessary to participate in online classes. As a result, the university decided to move the start of classes for the first quarter of spring semester to Thursday, May 7 in order to give students time to prepare for online classes.

As of Monday, May 4, the Japanese government has extended the nationwide state of emergency to Sunday May 31. However, the university does not want to stop our students from learning, so we intend to proceed with online classes even as we continue to take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection. Because we will continue to prohibit students from coming to campus, all of you will be taking online classes from your place of residence. For further information, please see the university's coronavirus/COVID-19 response page, here: http://en.apu.ac.jp/home/notice/content3/.

The faculty and staff at APU will continue to work together so that we can all safely return to studying, working, and learning on campus. So for now, I must ask for your continued understanding and support.

I look forward to seeing you all on campus once more.

Haruaki Deguchi
President
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

May 5, 2020

APU’s Response to the Emergency Declaration Extension After May 7 (Updated May 18, 2020)

On May 4, 2020, the Japanese Government decided to extend its Emergency Declaration until May 31. Oita prefecture also released a statement stating that while it was essential to properly prevent further outbreaks of the virus, the prefecture would begin to relax restrictions on social activities and services including those provided by universities. This statement takes into account the Japanese Government’s stance on the remaining 34 prefectures that were not designated to remain in a state of emergency, and is also in line with the announcement made by the government that states, “measures should gradually be introduced that take into account both the prevention of further outbreak based on the individual region’s current situation, while also promoting social and economic activities”

Based on these circumstances, APU will take the following measures to fulfill its mission to provide learning opportunities for its students by making sure to protect the lives, safety and health of its students, faculty and staff members, as well as fulfilling its social responsibility in preventing the spread of infection.

1. Class

AY2020 Spring Semester will commence on Thursday, May 7, 2020. All classes will be held online; and, in principle students are requested to take classes from their home without coming to campus. Guidance sessions have been held since Wednesday, April 22 as part of the preparation period. In the event you encounter any trouble attending (students) or conducting (faculty members) online classes, please contact the Academic Office.

■ Learning-Related Inquiries and Consultations
http://en.apu.ac.jp/academic/page/content0329.html/?c=17

2. Entry to Campus

Although the local government has not prohibited the use of university facilities, students are continuously being requested to not enter campus based on the viewpoint of prevention of infection.
Cancellation of this measure will be considered and decided as we keep paying close attention to the state of Emergency Declaration and status of infection. Faculty and staff members will conduct classes, provide necessary support to students and maintain / manage campus and so on by utilizing telework arrangement and web conference tools etc. flexibly.

3. Course of Action for Members of APU

Regardless of being on campus or off campus, any activities which involve going out and/or meeting face-to-face, as well as any functions / ceremonies / events etc. are requested to be cancelled or postponed. (However, this does not restrict online activities which do not involve meeting or going out.)

We strongly urge the restraint of holding any private gatherings, as well as going outside unless necessary. As we have not made a uniformed request to refrain from job hunting and part-time work etc., in the event that such activities are necessary, please take thorough measures to prevent infection such as washing your hands and following cough etiquette while continuing to avoid the “Three Cs”: Confined spaces, Crowder places and Close contact with people.

Emergency Student Support During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Updated on April 28, 2020)

To all APU students, their families, and friends:

As many of you know, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University has taken a variety of actions to protect the health and safety of everyone and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the decision to move classes online beginning May 7. As we all work together to overcome this global crisis, our faculty and staff will do their very best to maintain the quality of education and ensure our students’ learning continues to be meaningful.

The Ritsumeikan Academy is allocating a comprehensive 2.5 billion yen support package for the students of the Academy, to help provide students with the resources they need to ensure an appropriate environment for learning (http://en.ritsumei.ac.jp/news/detail/?id=490). A portion of this has been allocated to APU so that we may support you, our students, more directly. Please see the university homepage for an outline of this support (http://en.apu.ac.jp/home/notice/content3/). Details will be announced as soon as they are available.

We are also asking Oita Prefecture, Beppu City, the Alumni Association, and others for their cooperation, and will continue to look into additional support according to your situation.

Right now, your health and safety is our top priority. We apologize for the inconvenience caused by your inability to study on campus, and we greatly appreciate your understanding and your cooperation.

I am looking forward to the day when the spread of the coronavirus has stopped and we can meet again on campus.

Haruaki Deguchi
President
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

April 28, 2020

Classes to resume on May 6; all classes for spring semester to be held online (Updated on April 21,2020)

To all APU students, faculty, staff, family and friends,

On Thursday, April 16, the state of emergency declaration was expanded to include Oita Prefecture. The government is appealing to everyone in the nation to "stay home," with the goal of reducing movement and decreasing person-to-person contact by 80%. The top priority right now is to protect the health and safety of everyone.

For APU, this means that the prospective date for the start of online classes previously announced as April 22 will be moved to Thursday, May 7. The period between April 22 and April 28 will be utilized to conduct guidance sessions for classes via Zoom. Additionally, the scope of online classes will be extended to include all classes in the second quarter.

For further information, please see the university's coronavirus/COVID-19 response page, here:
http://en.apu.ac.jp/home/notice/content3/

When people speak of pandemics, the bubonic plague in the 14th century often comes to mind. The plague caused many casualties, but it also contributed to the birth of a new world through the rise of the Renaissance. We are now seeing a remarkable increase in information technology literacy in society through the shift to online classes, telework, and other initiatives. This novel coronavirus will surely open up a new world.

Once this situation passes, I imagine the world will change even more as we come together in cooperation, acknowledging differences in cultures and values, and coming to reach understanding through dialogue. I am confident that APU's global learning community, the talent we have strived to foster, and the great value of our students will be appreciated the world over.

I hope that each of you, especially at a time like this, will use your time at home in a meaningful fashion. As you stay home and distance yourself from others, try engaging with your friends in an online seminar, or tackle a big book that you haven't had time to read. Even in a situation like this, APU students all over the world are connected online, and can still realize what it means to be an APU student.

The situation we are in is fluid, changing from moment to moment. University policies will continue to be posted on a special page on the APU website, so please be sure to check page regularly. There may be many things that we have not yet addressed. However, all of the faculty and staff are doing their best to care for you and your safety, and to ensure that APU's education and research systems continue to function. I will continue to put forth my best effort for all of you as well. You can place your trust in us.

I am looking forward to the day we can all meet again here on campus.
Together, we shall get through this. Together, we shall continue to shape our world.

Haruaki Deguchi
President
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

April 21, 2020

Here are a few books I would like you to consider reading during your time at home.
  1. We Want to Know (A conversation about radiation and its effects in the aftermath of Japan's worst nuclear accident), by Ryugo Hayano and Shigesato Itoi
    ・ This can help you see through fake news.
  2. Science as a Vocation, by Max Weber
    ・ Now is a perfect time to stop and reflect on what it means to learn at APU.
  3. The Decameron, by Giovanni Boccaccio.
    ・ What did people think during the bubonic plague in the 14th century?
  4. 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, by Charles C. Mann.
    ・ This book looks at the impact of Columbus' 15th century voyage to the Americas.
  5. 『日本を襲ったスペインインフルエンザ』藤原書店、速水融(著)
    (The Spanish Flu that Struck Japan (Fujiwara Shoten) by Akira Hayami, available in Japanese only)
    ・ This book looks at the Spanish Flu pandemic just 100 years ago.

University response to the State of Emergency declared by the Japanese government (Updated April 9, 2020)

On April 7, 2020, the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency in seven prefectures (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo, and Fukuoka) based on the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response. This covers the period from Tuesday, April 7 until Wednesday, May 6. People in the areas covered by this declaration are asked to refrain from leaving their place of residence (except for activities that are necessary such as seeking medical attention, shopping for food, or going to work) and to refrain from holding any events.

In consideration of this, Oita Prefecture has asked residents to refrain from any unnecessary travel to any areas covered by the state of emergency. These measures are being taken to protect the health and safety of everyone. Think of your own safety as well as the safety of those around you, and act accordingly.

While APU is not covered by the above declarations, students are asked to carefully follow the below requests.

  1. Remain at your current place of residence and refrain from going outside unless necessary. Do not gather together with friends or other people, whether indoors or outside.
  2. Do not come to campus except for urgent matters.
  3. The Ritsumeikan Osaka-Umeda Campus and the Ritsumeikan Tokyo Campus (Ritsumeikan APU Tokyo Office) are closed until Wednesday, May 6; do not attempt to visit either location.
  4. Refrain from job hunting activities and part-time jobs if possible. If you must engage in these activities, protect yourself from infection by avoiding enclosed spaces, avoiding crowded areas, avoiding close contact with other people, and washing your hands and observing proper cough etiquette.
  5. If you are unable to avoid travel to any of the areas covered by the emergency declaration, when you return to Beppu self-isolate in your residence for 14 days and carefully monitor your temperature and health.
  6. If you live in AP House and are unable to avoid travel to any of the areas covered by the emergency declaration, notify the security office when you return to AP House. Follow the directions of the AP House Office in regards to health matters in AP House.

• In the event national or local governments issue any new declarations or other directives the above information will change, so be sure to check the university homepage regularly..
• If you think you may have any symptoms of illness, contact the APU Health Clinic (booking@apu.ac.jp) and follow their instructions before you seek medical attention at a hospital.

Message to the APU Community from the President Ahead of the 2020 Spring Semester (Updated April 3, 2020)

Message to the APU Community Regarding the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) (Updated March 11, 2020)

As you have seen in the media, the novel coronavirus is spreading through Japan and around the world. As of March 11 one case has been identified in Oita Prefecture. Students, faculty, and staff are asked to take extra care with their health, wash their hands frequently, avoid places with poor ventilation and large numbers of people, avoid unnecessary travel and limit the scope of activities, and take precautions to avoid spreading or contracting any contagious diseases.
Be sure to stay up to date with the latest information from the World Health Organization or other official government websites. Governments around the world are placing entry restrictions on people traveling from Japan, the Japanese government is placing entry restrictions on people traveling to Japan from overseas, and we expect to see new information about government policies and overseas risk information going forward. At APU, we will continue to provide up-to-date accurate information as needed to new enrollees, current students, faculty, and staff. Please continue to check this page, Campus Terminal, and email from the university.
There are many rumors and false information spreading about the coronavirus. We ask that everyone take care to not fall for false information or rumors, and to not spread information like this to others.

Establishment of the APU Countermeasures Task Force for the novel coronavirus problem (updated March 4)

Based on the current worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO) has raised its advisory to the highest level and the Japanese government has requested the closure of elementary, junior, and senior high schools nationwide. Accordingly, Ritsumeikan launched the "The Ritsumeikan Trust Crisis Response Task Force" on March 2nd.
The Establishment of The Ritsumeikan Trust Crisis Response Task Force in response to the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

In response, Ristumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) established its own "APU Countermeasures Task Force" on March 2nd. President Haruaki Deguchi is acting as Director-general of the task force, and will work with the community towards prompt and appropriate actions to prevent the spread of infection on campus and protect the health of students, faculty and staff, and the community in the local area.

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