Masumi Shimizu announced on March 22 his resignation as the president of the Nippon Academy in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture. Sakura Kawamura MAEBASHI, Gunma Prefecture resigned after coming under fire for calling his Ukrainian students elite refugees. Masumi Shimizu doesn't say he is sorry for his comments, but he maintains that the prefectural government is doing more than it should to support them.
Nippon Academy announced that Shimizu resigned on March 20, pledging to restore public trust through improved corporate governance.
The school has accepted 38 Ukrainian students since May 2022, shortly after Russia invaded the country.
Some of the students protested when the academy asked them to pay tuition despite the fact that it promised them free education.
Shimizu claimed that the offer was temporary and only designed to last until the students became financially independent - but not for six months or a year, as the students maintain.
When he made his case, Shimizu said that Ukrainian students are aristocratic refugees, a privileged class of asylum seekers who enjoy free rent and tax exemptions while Asian students are struggling to get by on their own.
After the comments generated public backlash, the prefectural government reprimanded the school on March 15, ordering it to take steps to prevent a recurrence and improve corporate governance.
Shimizu said that members of the school's managing board suggested he resign.