A nonprofit group that arranged for a Japanese college student to take up an internship in Romania has set up an overseas safety panel after the student was murdered in August.
In addition to creating the panel staffed by crisis-management experts, Aiesec in Japan has also compiled preventive measures, including creating a list of people coming to pick up visitors in host countries and the means of transport, and raising the level of English proficiency required for an internship candidate.
The victim, Yurika Masuno, a student at the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo, was found dead two days after arriving in Bucharest.
The nonprofit group is the Japanese branch of the international student organization Aiesec, which is active in more than 100 countries and regions around the world.
The Japan branch has suspended soliciting internship applicants since Masuno’s murder but hopes to resume once its safety measures are approved by the panel, which held its first session Oct. 25.
Those applying for an overseas internship opportunity with Aiesec first join a chapter located at a different university before selecting a destination and doing preparatory work.
The group’s University of Tokyo chapter, to which Masuno belonged, said she thought she would be able to travel to her destination in the southern city of Craiova directly from the airport by train based on information she received in emails from the student organization’s Romanian branch.
But after arriving at the airport, Masuno found out through telephone contact with local staff that she needed first to travel to the nearest train station from the airport. At that point, she was advised to ask airport workers to arrange a taxi, as there was a danger of being charged an excessive fare, according to the University of Tokyo chapter. Her taxi driver has been charged with her slaying.
“There was confusion in communication with the local party,” an official with Aiesec in Japan said.