Ventura: When I went out, they were very humble, they were not at all like the protests we receive in Minnesota, which is quite more aggressive.In fact, the students wouldn't even say directly what it is they were looking for from the governor.
Student: We came here to meet governor, just to say, "welcome to Japan." It is a wonderful time to share the time with him.This non-protest pleased Ventura, perhaps because it resembled the cordial, relationship-building aspect of Japanese life he's talked about so much. Even though the students didn't explicitly ask him for help keeping the Akita campus open, he said they made their point, and he's looking for ways to do just that.
MPR: But you do want to achieve something here?
Student: Yeah. Not help. We came here to talk about MSU-A. It's a wonderful place, that's all.
Hannasch: They're very frustrated, they're very hurt.Hannasch says Minnesota's good reputation is at stake, and she says the worst thing MnSCU could do is take abrupt action.
Hannasch: They just want to pull out. And whatever the troubles are, there may be issues we have no awareness of, they need to do it on a gradual basis, so students are not affected, nor is Yuwa-machi, because that will tarnish future relationships with Japan.A solution may be in the works. MnSCU has approached the Prefecture - or province - of Akita about stepping in to help support the school financially. The governor says the plan might even end up expanding the school.
Ventura: A four-year accredited school would serve the purpose even more, and dealing with the province or state level rather than the local or town level will lead to a better relationship for the education.Ventura has met with the governor of the Akita prefecture privately to discuss the situation, but he says not to expect an instant solution. In keeping with the Japanese spirit of doing business, he says he has no intention of making any demands of the Akita prefecture; he just wants to establish a cordial relationship first, which might result in a deal down the road.