JCSOS (Japanese Council for the Safety of Overseas) was established in 1998 as a non-profit organization for those institutions and schools sending their students abroad. Its aim is to provide necessary information about international education, extensive support and assistance by having built up systems of safety and crisis management as well as an international safety network to member schools (most are universities).
The executive board is consisted of expert of international educational exchange, university professors, lawyer, risk consultant and manager of insurance company. The associate members are supporters’ to JCSOS member schools from Japan’s top insurance company, risk consulting company and educational organization.
Overseas Studies & Crisis Management
Legal background of crisis management
The Council is primarily concerned with student safety at overseas schools. The Council is familiar with overseas schools, and with schools in Japan which have been required to take proper action in an emergency. In Japan, unlike in other countries, the school which is sending students abroad is obliged to take proper action in an emergency and, according to Japanese civil law, must take primary responsibility. Parents will take legal action if proper rescue and support measures are not in place. The law also requires a safety measure orientation programme before sending students abroad. The courts will order heavy compensation costs if measures taken prior to, and following an emergency, are not considered appropriate. (Supreme Court precedent of 25 February,1975, record of 29-2-143)
What JCSOS does?
The Council examined various accidents and court cases which have occurred in the past and decided to introduce a new safety system. The scheme is a combination of educational information, investigation, insurance and risk consultancy for schools. Overseas educational institutions would feel re-assured when accepting Japanese students from those organizations registered as member of JCSOS, as they are promised carefully planned support in case of an emergency.
We circulate to members by email various overseas news items on safety and educational issues. We often visit member schools and answer their questions. We organise risk management and international educational seminars often by using facilities of member universities. We offer detailed information and advice to member schools on issues such as how to develop international educational programmes and establish university links with overseas partners, from the contract to the full operation of study abroad programmes.
In December 2008 a new emergency service named J-TAS(JCSOS Total Assistance Service) was introduced to JCSOS members. J-TAS was intended to provide further support to members. Support in the past has been provided for institutions rather than for individuals. J-TAS now supports individuals who encounter accident or sickness, including mental problems, and who are in need of help in foreign countries. If they are covered by proper insurance (Tokyo Marine) the assistance centre will take immediate and appropriate action. This is particularly important because traditionally, sickness or mental disorders of students abroad have not been the travel agency’s responsibility but rather that of the school.
J-TAS has solved most problems encountered by students abroad. It has become a strong tool to strengthen study abroad programmes by Japanese schools.