GenkiJACS is located in Fukuoka City, in southern Japan, more than 1000 kilometers from the earthquake that devastated large parts of the northeast. We experienced no direct effects from either the earthquake or the tsunami that followed it. We are also more than 1000 kilometers from the troubled nuclear power plants. This means that Fukuoka is not in any danger of radiation exposure.
All classes and activities are being held as normal.
There are no direct effects from the disaster on Fukuoka City. The rolling blackouts that are in place in Tokyo and other parts of the country are not in place here, and never will be. (The electricity supplies on the east and west of Japan use a different frequency, so they are not compatible.) There are no shortages of items in shops.
There are no delays or cancellations at Fukuoka International Airport. Narita Airport is almost fully operational, so transfers through Narita Airport to Fukuoka are not a problem. However, if you would prefer to avoid Tokyo at this time, it is possible to travel to Fukuoka through Osaka, Seoul, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, and others.
The atmosphere in Fukuoka is of course a little more subdued than usual, but life goes on as normal for the most part. Major events are still being held.
Embassy and Country Warnings
As of Thursday the 17th of March, the embassies of several countries (including France, Germany, and Australia) are recommending their students to leave the Tokyo area, and to move to western and southern parts of Japan, such as Fukuoka, which are deemed safe.
We are happy to welcome any students who had planned to study in Tokyo or other locations but would prefer to study further south instead. Students who are already booked to study with us should rest assured that there is nothing to reduce your enjoyment and education here.
If you are interested in helping victims of the disaster, the best option is to make a donation. GenkiJACS will be donating money to the Red Cross in the coming days.
Several students have asked us about volunteering. We really appreciate the thought, but many nations have contributed teams of trained professionals, and Japan has mobilized the Self Defense Forces, so individual untrained foreign volunteers who are not familiar with the local area would perhaps be better to focus on fundraising efforts in your home area.
Parents or relatives who want to contact students at GenkiJACS, or who want to talk to a staff member about potential safety issues, can contact us by phone at +81-92-716-8673, or by email at [email protected].
UPDATE March 18
There seems to be little change at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. However, in the worst case, if radioactive material is released in significant quantities, it will be carried on the wind. The winds in Japan run from west to east, so radiation would be carried over the pacific ocean. As GenkiJACS is far west of Fukushima, we would be safe from radiation. As a result, many countries are recommending their citizens to come to the west of Japan, including the Fukuoka area where GenkiJACS is.