Updates on earthquake and tsunami in Japan

March 16 update from Willamette

Tokyo International University (TIU) has suspended the spring term Japan Studies Program (JSP), effective March 15. There are currently six Willamette students enrolled in the spring term JSP, five of whom have made travel arrangements to leave Japan. Willamette is working with the remaining student (who is safe and well) and her parent to determine what arrangements she will make.

Willamette and TIU are working jointly to support the students' safe return to the United States and the CLA dean's office will work with students to make alternate academic arrangements.

March 13 update from TIUA

Dear Friends,

First of all, please receive our thanks for the many messages of support and solidarity during this crisis.

As you know, it has been a difficult time.

However, we are pleased to report that all of our current students have been able to communicate with their immediate family members and all are OK.

Of course, many students remain concerned about extended family members and friends that live in the affected areas, and communication throughout Japan is still difficult.

On Monday, there will be a meeting to help determine various ways that we – as a community – can best respond.

Please continue to check this website or our facebook page to see ways you can help.

TIUA's Facebook page can be found at:

Thanks again for all of your expressions of support.

Gunnar Gundersen
Executive Vice President
Tokyo International University of America

March 12 update from TIUA

We are relieved to report that the students who have families in the areas most affected by the earthquake and tsunami have been able to make contact with their immediate families and all are safe. Of course, concerns remain about extended family and friends.

We are very thankful for the collective efforts of TIUA, TIU and Willamette in facilitating communication. We have also been in contact with President Tsugio Tajiri (TIU and TIUA). He expresses his thanks to all at Willamette and TIUA, and he affirmed his support of all of the students in Salem and at TIU.

Gunnar Gundersen
Executive Vice President
Tokyo International University of America

March 11 campus email

Dear Willamette community,

Many of you have heard the news about the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan.

Our best information at this time is that the area most affected is around Sendai, on the east coast, north of Tokyo. We understand that transportation, communications and power have been affected in a much broader area, including Tokyo.

Our colleagues at Tokyo International University have accounted for all of their students, faculty and staff. All are safe, including the six students from Willamette currently studying at TIU.

We also have learned that some of our TIUA students here in Salem have homes and family in the Sendai area and other nearby regions. We have been in communication with these students throughout the night. TIU will continue to make efforts to help locate TIUA students’ families. We understand that because of the effects of the earthquake and tsunami, reliable information is difficult to obtain.

We have made available to students the “Person Finder” website,, and encourage its use in Japan in hopes that there is a reliable way to check on family members. The internet is one of the only forms of communication relatively intact.

We encourage you take a moment to reflect on the scale of this tragedy, and we offer our prayers and support for Japan and for the TIUA students in our community as they struggle to respond to this devastation.

We genuinely appreciate the supportive calls we have received, and we know that community members may wish to directly support people affected by the tsunami. If you would like to support the American Red Cross tsunami relief effort, you can donate $10 by texting REDCROSS to 90999, or you can donate any amount online at

Please don't hesitate to contact Gunnar Gundersen at for any questions related to TIUA students.


Lee Pelton
President, Willamette University

Gunnar Gundersen
Executive Vice President, Tokyo International University of America

News updates

For the latest information, consider visiting the following news websites: