U.S. college in Kobe plans to stay

The operator of the Kobe campus of Edmonds Community College, based in the state of Washington, has denied reports in the U.S. that the school plans to shut down its Japanese branch in March due to a decline in the number of students.

Jun Maeda, managing director of Planners International Ltd., said in a statement released in Kobe last week that his management company is currently talking with the home campus in Lynnwood, Wash., about a retrenchment program for the Kobe campus. The U.S. reports said the EdCC school, on Kobe’s Rokko Island, will close March 15 due to financial difficulties.

In a memo Feb. 12 to staff and students, Jack Oharah, president of EdCC, announced the imminent closure of the school’s Kobe operations. After the Kobe school’s graduation ceremony in March, Oharah said, only 18 Japanese students would remain.

Initially opened in Kobe’s Kita Ward in 1990, the EdCC’s campus moved to the Kobe Fashion Mart Building on Rokko Island last July. The school’s enrollment totaled more than 700 in 1992. But the number of students currently studying at the Rokko Island campus comes to roughly 200, including less than 50 “core” students, according to a school source.