Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University



IMPORTANT NOTICE: APU response to novel coronavirus/COVID-19—Spring Semester schedule changes, APU response to the State of Emergency declared by the Japanese government (Updated May 19, 2020)


May 19, 2020

Latest Update: May 19, 2020
  • Change: APU’s Emergency Student Support During the COVID-19 Pandemic: General Summary
For update history, click here
Latest Update: March 9, 2020
  • None
For update history, click here

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
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

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
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:

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
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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