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Official statement from CLAIR on JET tragedy

The Chair of JETAA-I, Xander Peterson, recently reached out to CLAIR for an official comment on two recent events of note.

The events were the tragic death of Kelly Savage, a JET from New Zealand who died in hospital, and the threat of a missile strike from North Korea. The following are responses from CLAIR:

Statement on the New Zealand JET participant who passed away

Kelly came to Japan on 20 August, 2015 as a JET Programme ALT and was employed by the Shibushi City Board of Education. We have heard that he was very passionate about English education in the elementary and junior high schools where he worked, and was involved in club activities and extracurricular activities. His passing was unexpected, tragic and extremely unfortunate. We cannot comment on his time at the hospital as reported in the press, however, because we are not fully aware of all the details in the matter. CLAIR appreciates the efforts of AJET and JETAA-I to consider other potential forms of support for JET participants, in addition to the forms of mental health support provided by CLAIR and other third parties. We will continue to encourage JET participants to use our mental health resources if necessary and provide them information on helpful third party resources through our General Information Handbook.

Statement on the North Korean missile threats

With regard to actions one might take in the event of a ballistic missile strike on Japan, the Cabinet Secretariat has posted information on its Civil Protection Portal Site, and requests local governing authorities to reference this information when responding to enquiries from local residents, post information on their own websites and publications, and cooperate in spreading this information. JET Programme participants should receive such information through their contracting organisation, and as CLAIR, we too feel that residents should act in accordance with this information. Furthermore, CLAIR operates the JET Programme Safety Confirmation System, which may be used in the event of a large-scale disaster, such as a natural disaster or a situation in which the safety of a large number of people is threatened. CLAIR also encourages JET participants to register with their home country’s embassy in Japan. In the event of a large-scale disaster, these embassies may provide information or advice on what actions citizens of those countries should take.

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