Activity report

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6th Annual JAOS – ERA Joint Meeting

December 12, 2002

at the US Embassy in Tokyo

ERA (Educational Representatives Association of Embassies) consists of educational attaches from the Japan situated embassies of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK, USA and France. Once a year, JAOS holds a meeting with these ERA members mainly to share information and to maintain close mutual communication. The 6th meeting was held at the USA Embassy in Tokyo The meeting provided a forum for participants to actively discuss and exchange information concerning the aftereffects of the September 11th attacks on not only the Japanese market, but throughout the international community.

2002 JAOS Autumn General Meeting

November 28-29, 2002

at Hotel New Akao in Atami

The 2002 Autumn General Meeting was attended by 21 participants from 26 member organizations, among which, 8 absentee vote organizations were included. 2 new organizational memberships and one supporting membership were approved at the meeting. Activity reports were presented from each Task Team of which special attention was placed on the work of the ‘JAOS Standardized Agreement’ Task Team. The above-mentioned Task Team reported its research findings concerning the following topics; internal JAOS questionnaires; member organization literature, definitions of important terminologies, booking fees, counseling and further consultation fees, and the length of time it took for contracting to be completed. Furthermore, it was confirmed that further research on things such as ‘Travel Agency Law’ and consultation with legal experts would need to take place before finalizing the ‘JAOS Standardized Agreement’. It was also reported that FELCA (The Federation of English and Language Consulting) announced the tentative completion of its website (www.felca.org) as well as information regarding its London General-Meeting held in August of 2002. FELCA also reported on its Joint Conference with GAELA (Global Alliance of Education and Language Associations).

U.S. Visa Seminar

March 23, 2002

at the US Embassy in Tokyo

Once a year, JAOS holds a study seminar concerning changes in U.S. visa policy and procedure in cooperation with the Public Affairs Section (PAS), of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. The U.S. Embassy stated that, despite rumors of tightening visa restrictions in the wake of September 11, they would continue to welcome those students who, as in the past, qualified for U.S. entry visas. Furthermore, the U.S. Embassy reported that out of a total of 100, 000 visas that were issued last year, 21,000 or approximately 1/5 were student visas. However, after the events of September 11, the visa issuance numbers decreased by 30% between October – November 2001, and decreased by 40% in December 2001, in comparison to the previous year. In February of 2002, the visa issuance numbers decreased by 10% in comparison to the same period last year. In addition, we received an advance announcement concerning the ISEAS (Interim Student and Exchange Authentication System), which will be introduced by the U.S. Embassy by January 2003 at the latest. As part of this announcement, the U.S. Embassy confirmed that from now on they will be prepared to work more closely with JAOS in order make the visa process run more smoothly. This will be benefit both JAOS as well as the U.S. Embassy.