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RJ Students Celebrate the Completion of their Studies at J. F. Oberlin

Twice a year, a group of Reconnaissance Japan students receives certificates to commemorate their having completed the program. January 17 saw 40 students “graduating” from RJ. Some had been at J. F. Oberlin for only a semester and others for the full 2013–2014 academic year, but as they received their certificates one by one from Akihiro Nezu, the university’s Director of North American Operations, amid the applause of their peers, they all seemed justifiably proud of their accomplishments.

“After the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident in 2011, the number of students coming to Japan plummeted,” said Fumitake Nakamura of J. F. Oberlin’s Office of International Programs. “It’s taken a while, but the RJ numbers are now back up to about where they were before 2011.”

After short speeches by two of the departing RJ students, the ceremony concluded with brief remarks by Professor Nezu. Then everybody adjourned to the Faculty Lounge for a party featuring yakitori, Japan-style curry rice, and other foods for which the students might well feel a twinge of nostalgia when they look back on their RJ experience in the coming years.

And of course, the occasion would not have been complete without that most Japanese of traditions, a celebratory “Kampai!”