Japanese students seek ties with Russia amid Ukraine crisis

Japanese students forced to leave Russia suddenly hope to put their language skills to good use and serve as a bridge between their country and Moscow, following the latter’s invasion of Ukraine.

“I want to take a job that would use my Russian skills,” said Sakurako Mitsushima, a fourth-year student at Osaka University who was studying at Moscow State University.

She recalled how her dream life in the Russian capital was suddenly cut short after the Russian military attack, which killed more than 1,400 civilians and caused the flight of more than 4 million others, according to the Nations United.

Mitsushima said he felt a drastic change in the atmosphere in Moscow from February 24, when the Russian military operation began. She saw signs and stickers reading “No War” posted on walls and poles all over the city. They would then be deleted only to reappear soon.

A local resident holds up a sign reading “I’ve had enough of the killings” outside a Moscow train station on February 27. Their faces are pixelated for privacy reasons. | SAKURAKO MITSUSHIMA / VIA KYODO

“I was surprised how much the anti-war mood escalated,” the 21-year-old said, adding that she saw an anti-war protester holding up a sign that read “I I’ve had enough of the murders”.

Mitsushima said she was to stay until June, but decided to return home early, as she worried about how she would be able to maintain her daily life given Russia’s exclusion from the international grid. SWIFT money transfer.

Just before boarding a plane to leave Russia on March 4, she recounted how she was filled with emotion over the circumstances that forced her to leave.

Taking online courses with Moscow University, she stressed the need for interactions between Japanese and Russians, saying Russians should not be viewed as evil because of the actions of their leaders.

A fourth-year student at the University of Foreign Studies in Tokyo, whose stay was also cut short too abruptly, also believes that now is the time to use his language skills.

The 22-year-old student, who asked not to be named, said he had just entered Russia in February to study at St Petersburg University. He returns to Japan on March 9.

During his short stay there, he frequently visited a theater to watch ballet and eventually befriended members of the staff. He remembered being told by one of the staff that she didn’t see this war as necessary.

Her dream is to invite a foreign ballet company to perform in Japan.

“I hope there will be peace soon and I can bring the cultures of Russia and Ukraine to Japan,” he said.

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