Operation of the 2020 Fall Semester and Matriculation Ceremony (Update)

Dear Students,

Thanks to your positive attitudes our spring semester online courses were successfully completed. You have been patient and continued your studies in the face of this unprecedented, world-wide, emergency. I am proud of all of you.

Regarding the fall semester, we announced on July 3rd that our tentative plan was to accept our new students and some of our current students to live on campus. Further, we stated that we were hoping to offer our courses online, parallel, and also in-person. Since that time, and especially from mid-July, the number of new COVID-19 infections has sharply increased. Due to this circumstance, and in consultation with medical professionals, we have decided to continue to have a closed campus from September to December. Further, we will continue to offer our courses only online.

Under the current set of circumstances, even with less than half of our normal student population living on campus, it would be a hazardous situation. We would be accepting students from all over the country, and we would have student from areas, and traveling through areas, that have been impacted by this surge in infections. We do not want to put anyone at risk. Additionally, on August 3rd, the Governor of Akita Prefecture issued a travel advisory, cautioning anyone from traveling across prefectural borders, and especially from visiting, or traveling from, regions such as the Tokyo Metropolitan area, that are currently impacted by the spread of COVID-19 infections. Given all of these circumstances, we have made the difficult, but necessary, decision to continue to have a closed campus and only online classes.

For those of you who were looking forward to life on the AIU campus, especially our new students, we know that it is unfortunate that you won’t be able to meet in person with your friends and professors at AIU. It is especially painful to think of our seniors who will be graduating without being able to return to spend their last semester at their favorite campus. We hoped until the last moment that we could welcome some students back to campus. However, the surge in infections has forced us to change our plans.

In the week prior to our original July 3rd announcement, the national infection rate was 125 new infections per day. From July 27th to August 2nd, the infection rate jumped to 1227 new infections per day. With the infection rate increasing to ten times the earlier number, we had no choice but to act and change our original plan. Your health and safety and the health and safety of our faculty and staff must be our priorities. Additionally, we must understand that AIU is a public institution and we have a social responsibility to make sure that no infections spread from our campus to the Akita community.

Our top concerns remain to secure the safety of everyone and to continue to provide a stable and excellent educational program. In addition, we will continue to foster initiatives and regional exchanges in collaboration with our overseas partner universities. We will use the best of the online learning environment to help you continue to achieve your academic goals and fulfill your personal objectives.

Please be aware that our fall classes will start from Monday, September 7th, as scheduled. Additionally, our September 6th matriculation ceremony will be held online.

As we start on our summer vacation, it is my hope that you will take some time to relax and to refresh yourselves. Please enjoy the summer holiday as best you can, and within the bounds of social distancing. Be attentive to your health and safety. Though it may take a while for the pandemic to come to an end, I would like you to continue to move forward with your studies and your lives. I know that, working together, we will never let the challenges of the current situation defeat us.


Norihiko Suzuki

Changes to the Operation of the Fall 2020 Matriculation Ceremony

  • Date and Time: Sunday, September 6, 2020, 11:00 am
  • Venue: Online via Zoom
  • Participants: Students who enrolled in April 2020 or September 2020, exchange students who are enrolled in the Fall 2020 Semester.
  • Program (Provisional): Matriculation of New Students, President’s Address, Speech by Representative of New Students, etc.


  • The fall semester is scheduled to start on Monday, September 7th.
  • Further details about the ceremony will be provided to participants separately.

For More Information About AIU’s Actions in Response to COVID-19

Please view the most up-to-date information on our COVID-19 Page