April 9, 2020
First of all, I would like to congratulate all of you who joined the Graduate School of Media and Governance this spring. We welcome you from the bottom of our hearts. Under normal circumstances, we should have been able to meet in person at the entrance ceremony. Unfortunately however, due to the spread of COVID-19 the ceremony has been cancelled and classes are rescheduled to start on April 30. I can imagine that many of you may be feeling uneasy and unsettled, and I understand that current students are also feeling the effects of being constrained in their studies and research.
We are making preparations to offer online courses at both the Faculty of Policy Management and the Faculty of Environment and Information Studies from the start of classes until June 10 (until the end of the first half of the undergraduate courses). Given that the Graduate School is a diverse community, taking in many international students and working adults, I have asked our faculty members for their cooperation to make all classes available online for the duration of the spring semester.
Also, we are reviewing the procedures and schedules related to the completion of your degrees, and are working to make it possible to provide online classes to the extent that this is feasible. Please coordinate with your academic advisor to plan your studies for this semester.
At this moment in history, we are compelled to lifestyles in which goods, money, and information may come and go freely, while people are restricted in their movements. Relationships with people are essential in almost every field of research - whether these involve free and open communication in the classrooms, during experiments in laboratories, fieldwork, and social practices, exchanges with people in different parts of the world, or at conferences and symposia.
Please endeavor to maintain your intellectual curiosity amid these many inconveniences, and use this as an opportunity to think about your ideal academic life as a graduate student. This situation may be the engine that drives your creative endeavors in your studies.
We are living through a difficult time, and the situation is changing every day. However, I implore each of you to prioritize your health - both physical and mental - above all else. It is a great disappointment that we cannot venture out onto our campus at this time of year, when the beautiful cherry blossoms trees are in bloom, however, let's make an effort to take care of each other and be mindful of our surroundings.
In this situation we find ourselves in, I believe it is our responsibility to explore the nature of knowledge while situating ourselves within this global situation. That is the challenge we face.
Please read the Graduate School Guide thoroughly to check details such as the course registration process and submission deadlines. Changes to the schedule or procedures will be announced on the website so please check it regularly and keep yourself up-to-date.
If you have any concerns, consult your academic advisor and ensure that you make all the necessary preparations for the new semester.