On media coverage about the University

  As to the racial issues at our University that have been covered by several media since June 11, 2019, I would like to apologize once again for all the inconvenience this may have caused to many people.

  On March 11th, there was a post in our suggestion-box requesting the University to do something about bad body odor that came from persons from a certain specific area. On the same day, the staff of the university in charge posted a memo on the bulletin board asking to tell the staff their names, along with the aforementioned post.
  Students from the certain specific area complained against this posting, saying that putting the post that specified the name of certain area on the bulletin board may lead to racial prejudice. Since it was the University’s mistake, the University removed the post on the next day, and the staff of the university in charge expressed deep remorse for the inappropriate response, and posted this apology to the students from the certain specific area through the bulletin board, e-mail and Facebook.
  Furthermore on March 22, a group of students from the specific area sent a complaint letter to me that mainly says the contents of the post and the university’s response after receiving it indicate the lack of sensitivity to racial issues and they wanted University to take some actions against it.
  I gave the staff of the university in charge a strong warning against the inappropriate response, and had a meeting with 7 representatives of the group of students from the specific area on April 2, and apologized them saying “I am sorry that the racial problem that should not exist here in the University has actually occurred. It was wrong to put the post on the bulletin board. I will consider further actions to take as the University. ”
  On the same day, Chairperson of Professional Ethics Committee of the University sent an alerting email to all students about racial biases and others (this email was re-sent to all students on June 17 because it was found later that the email did not reach some students due to a system related matter).
  Later in April, the University held a workshop three times on the theme of multicultural understanding to prevent a recurrence of similar troubles, and a total of approximately 80% of the students participated.

  The University, where students from 60 countries in the world gather, had been paying close attention to such case of racial prejudice as the most serious matter that should never happen here. I would sincerely like to regret the occurrence of this case. In order to prevent recurrence of the same kind of problems, the University will give more attention to promoting racial equality and mutual understanding, by conducting educational activities such as workshops for students, faculty and staff members and announcing guidelines on racial problems.
  Your kind understanding and cooperation would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,

Hiroyuki Itami
International university of Japan