Sunday, May 27, 2012

Japan: Update in Suspicious Death of Irish Exchange Student, Sexual Assault of Another

As a follow-up to my posting of yesterday (May 26), concerning the suspicious death of Irish exchange student, Nicola Furlong, 21, and the alleged rape of her friend, also 21, and an Irish student, local media have now reported that the two Americans, 19 and 23,  invited the two women to their Tokyo hotel rooms.

COMMENT: Furlong was found dead in one of the Americans guest rooms, apparently as a result of suffocation by cervical compression. 

In actuality, the two men have been arrested for sexual assault of Furlong's intoxicated friend, as the four were headed to the hotel rooms of the two men.

As mentioned yesterday, the two women were attending a concert in Tokyo, when they began talking to the two Americans. The hotel staff found Furlong unconscious after customers complained of loud noises coming from one of the guest rooms.

When the staff got to the room, they found Ms. Furlong in the room with the 19-year-old, and called the fire department. Once the facts of the case were established, first responders called police, who arrested the men.

As noted yesterday, I continue to be concerned with the the lack of adequate pre-departure security awareness training for university students enrolled in foreign study programs. Unfortunately, many universities delegate student preparedness who have no professional law enforcement or international security experience. 

As a result, not wanting to discourage parents or students from enrolling in international programs, many universities "sugar-coat" the security risks that students will face abroad, which leaves them ill-prepared for making wise choices when it comes to their personal security.

Although university students may be viewed as any other adult, the reality is that they are inexperienced in the ways of the world, which renders them very vulnerable to making bad choices, unless universities accept their responsible to train them in how to avoid foreseeable events that put their lives in jeopardy.