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Fundraiser to provide Japan relief set for March 25


By Jeremy Los


March 16, 2011 (San Diego) -- Following the destruction of the 9.0 magnitude quake and tsunami that hit Japan last Thursday,  many on the San Diego State campus feared for those studying abroad and for the families of the over 100 Japanese students at SDSU.  Shortly after the tsunami, SDSU confirmed on its website that at least 12 of the 16 students studying in Japan were safe and unharmed. The other 4 students were also believed safe because they were studying hundreds of miles away from the areas hardest hit.


“As it stands now all sixteen students traveling abroad in Japan are safe and we’ve communicated to each directly,” SDSU Media Relations Manager Gina Jacobs advised ECM in a subsequent update.


According to SDSU JSA President Derek Macatantan, the Japanese Student Association (JSA) members with friends and family in Japan have notified the organization that their friends and families are ok and were not adversely affected by the tsunami.


The concern in the area has shifted to nuclear reactors that are feared to be on the verge of meltdowns.


“None of our students are in the immediate vicinity of the nuclear reactors or the quake/tsunami affected zone,” said Jacobs. “Therefore, none of our students there have been displaced or are in need of emergency services.”


According to Jacobs, in the event that the situation with the reactors was to become more dangerous for the students or if the US embassy was to order an evacuation of the area where the students are at the school would reevaluate their position.

“We are contacting each of our study abroad students in Japan to confirm their safety,” SDSU Provost Nancy Marlin said in a statement released by the school shortly after the devastating 9.0 earthquake and tsunami. “In the meantime, we encourage the campus community to support international relief efforts.”


San Diego State has also made a concerted effort to reach out and provide assistance to the over 100 Japanese students who attend SDSU. It is still unclear how many are directly affected by the disaster but as news continues to trickle out of the devastation, the school has taken it upon themselves to set up relief for the students.


SDDU’s Japanese Student Association is currently in talks with organizations to provide relief and assistance, while also discussing ideas that the group could do on it own.


“We are currently in cooperation with SDSU organizations NSU (Nikkei Student Union), Alpha Psi Rho, and APSA to host a relief showcase on March 25th (which is still in developmental stages),” said Macatantan. “Also, SDSU JSA is cooperation with JSAs from practically every university within Southern California for relief aid activity.”


For those looking for more information regarding the relief showcase can contact Japanese Student Association at