Message from President Hideo Ohno - 15 March 2023

Dear students, faculty and staff,

The Japanese government has announced that from May 8, COVID-19 will be downgraded and classified as a 'Category V' infectious disease on par with seasonal influenza. In line with this reclassification, the government is also reviewing its COVID-19 prevention measures and policies.

A notable change is that the wearing of masks will be optional in most public places from March 13, and in schools and on campuses from April 1.

At Tohoku University, we will be lowering the BCP - our Emergency Action Plan for COVID-19 - to Level Zero from April 1. At Level Zero, classrooms, research laboratories and student activities will largely return to their familiar pre-pandemic form.

In keeping with the national policy, the wearing of masks on our four campuses will also be optional, so please respect each other's decision whether to wear one or not.

I should mention however, that while it is not mandatory, it is still recommended that you wear a mask when you are in crowded places, and when you are in contact with the elderly and vulnerable people with underlying health conditions. Always be mindful of the 3Cs (closed spaces, crowded places and/or close-contact settings), wash your hands frequently, keep rooms ventilated and behave responsibly.

I am proud of how Tohoku University members have rallied, worked hard and kept each other safe these last three years. As we enter a new and more encouraging stage of this pandemic, I wish you all an enjoyable and safe academic year ahead.

Hideo Ohno
President, Tohoku University



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