Japanese students cancel visit to Wesley College following earthquake and tsunami

For several years, Wesley College in Dover has hosted a visiting group of Japanese students at about this time of year.  Miyagi University of Education is on the western edge of Sendai, the city devastated by last Friday’s tsunami. 

Wesley biology professor William Kroen says the students and a group of middle-schoolers from Japan were scheduled to arrive last Saturday, the day after the earthquake.  Their travel was postponed.  Kroen says he has been informed that the students and the university are doing “pretty well.”

“They’re a little bit short on electric power.  Water and food are scarce, as you can imagine,” Kroen says.

The middle-schoolers are from Iwanuma, which has a “friendship relationship” city with Dover.  Kroen says a few of their families lost their homes.

The professor visited that part of Japan in 2007 and 2009.  Although it was jarring to see on TV the devastation to areas he’s visited, Kroen believes Japan can pull through.

“The Japanese people are a very tight-knit society.  They’re very geared to helping each other,” Kroen says.

“I have no doubt they’ll be able to pull through this.”

Wesley College and the City of Dover are discussing ways to assist Japan.  A meeting is planned for tonight (Wednesday) at Dover High School.

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