Friends and supporters have been calling the Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute in Spokane with concerns for its students and their families in Japan, a spokeswoman at the institute said.
The institute is the U.S. branch campus of Mukogawa Women’s University in Spokane’s sister city of Nishinomiya, located in south central Japan, which was little affected by the earthquake that caused severe damage in the north, said Marie Whalen, the institute’s director of student life.
Most of the Mukogawa Institute’s 240 women students come from the Kansai region, which also is protected by geography from tsunami resulting from the quake, Whalen said.
She was not aware of any of Mukogawa students whose families were directly affected by the catastrophe. Should the staff learn of students whose friends or relatives were affected, a counselor is on staff to support them.
The institute has been in contact with the university and “our colleagues in Japan who said they are all fine,” Whalen said.