Temple U. to evacuate U.S. students in Japan

Snow falls over an devastated area in Onagawa, northern Japan Wednesday, March 16, 2011 after Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami. (AP Photo/Yomiuri Shimbun, Makoto Kondo) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT
Snow falls over an devastated area in Onagawa, northern Japan Wednesday, March 16, 2011 after Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami. (AP Photo/Yomiuri Shimbun, Makoto Kondo) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT
Posted: March 17, 2011

Temple University is arranging a charter flight for U.S. students at its Tokyo campus to leave Japan, University President Ann Weaver Hart said today.

The move is in response to the uncertain situation at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and a State Department advisory urging Americans to avoid Japan or leave the country, Hart said in a statement.

As many as 200 students might be voluntarily evacuated, possibly via Hong Kong on a Saturday flight, according to university spokesman Hillel Hoffman.

Included could be some of the 35 students from Temple's Philadelphia campus who were in Tokyo studying abroad. Most would be from the ranks of U.S. citizens whose main campus was Temple University Japan, or the 82 students studying there while enrolled at various institutions across the United States.

So evacuees will wind up all across the United States, Hoffman said.

About 115 people studying at Temple University Japan have already left the country, while about 15 others have left Tokyo for supposedly safer parts of Japan, he said.

Temple University Japan, the largest officially sanctioned foreign university there, has about 3,400 students from dozens of countries, Hoffman said.

Plans concerning non-Americans were unclear, he said.

Hart said TU Japan Dean Bruce Stronach, a U.S. citizen, has elected to stay and most non-American students and staff - who are mostly Japanese - also will remain for now.

Temple University will offer financial assistance for flights to the United States.

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