Beware of "#春から○○ Large"! Mar 3 at 28:17

Have you ever actually used this hashtag that you often see lately, "#春から○○大"?

In the spring, new students who have decided where to go to school use it to expand their friendships on SNS.
I understand that desire to build relationships as soon as possible.

But that's exactly what you're trying to tweet. Wait a minute.
This phrase is now sounding the alarm bells by university officials around the country.

You may be recruited by religious groups that creep up without revealing your identity.
(Good morning Japan Interview Team)

Young people being recruited by SNS

A woman left her parents' home in Tokyo to attend Kyushu University in the spring.

Living alone for the first time in a land with no acquaintances.

In the midst of growing anxiety, the woman searched for "#春から九大" on Twitter for a connection and wrote this based on various information.

"I'm graduating from high school in Tokyo and will be entering the Faculty of Education at Kyushu University in the spring.

A few days later. I receive a direct mail from a person who is a senior attending the same university.

"Congratulations on passing the exam at Kyushu University! Don't hesitate to ask me anything."

This woman was overwhelmed with the joy of having known her even before entering the school.

We exchanged email addresses and phone numbers and started to interact.

After that, my seniors invited me to join a volleyball club in which working adults also participate.

The woman was welcomed by the members and decided to join.

Gradually, I forgave myself and consulted with the circle members about my worries and dreams for the future, and the relationship became deeply trusting.

Then, one day, a member invites me to attend a Bible study group or mass.

Although the woman was reluctant, she could not waste the relationships she had built and participated.

In fact, the volleyball club that the woman joined was run by a member of a religious organization, and she was soliciting her by hiding her identity in the wake of SNS she wrote.

This is the story of an awareness video created by Kyushu University based on the actual experiences of students who were actually recruited in order to draw attention to "undisclosed solicitation" by religious groups.

What are the risks of "#春からXX University"?

According to experts, the most likely target is this "#春からXX University" or other SNS messages that reveal where they are enrolled.

According to Associate Professor Akemi Yokota of Chiba University, who has been in charge of the "Information Literacy" class for many years to teach new students precautions when using SNS, there is a possibility that a lot of personal information is open up with the phrase "#春からXX University."

▼Age ▼Name of university or faculty ▼Living area

If you follow your profile, past posts, and accounts you follow...

▼ Hometown ▼ Whether you live alone away from your parents ▼ High school club activities ▼ Hobbies and interests etc. ...

In this way, organizations that grasp and solicit the target's personal information can contact people who are likely to build deep friendships without being alarmed, such as members from the same university or with the same tastes and preferences.

Associate Professor Yokota says there are other things to be wary of.

He points out that since the age of adulthood has been lowered to 18 and contracts can be made without parental consent, new adults with little social experience are more likely to be targeted by unscrupulous vendors and merchandise sellers.

Associate Professor Akemi Yokota, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiba University:
"It is #春からunforgivable for people to maliciously exploit the pure feelings of young people who want to interact with each other and step into a new world and learn. There is a drawback that it is difficult to reach the effectiveness of our alerts and countermeasures. Therefore, I would like young people to realize that their own crisis management skills are extremely important. In the future, I feel that universities will also be required to take proactive measures before enrollment."

Corona disaster has made solicitation by SNS more sophisticated

Universities across the country are now becoming increasingly vigilant about solicitation through social media, targeting young people.

Hirotsugu Kubouchi, a steering committee member of a network in which about 200 people participate to share troubles, victim cases, and countermeasures related to religious groups among universities nationwide, points out that solicitation using social media as an entry point has become more sophisticated in recent years.

Hiroshi Kubouchi, Steering
Committee Member of the Anti-Cult School Network, said, "The campus was temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and religious groups searched for a method of 'solicitation without revealing identity' using SNS as an entrance, and as a result, the method became more sophisticated. There are probably many cases that we do not understand. Universities must now have a high sense of urgency."

Beware of solicitations that do not reveal your identity face-to-face!

In addition to social media, attention should also be paid to face-to-face "solicitation without revealing identity," says Professor Toshiyuki Tachikake, who is in charge of cult countermeasures at Osaka University.

Now that the pandemic has calmed down and the temporarily closed campuses have begun to regain their original appearance, we believe that face-to-face solicitation will become active again.

Professor Tachikake has confirmed that there are many patterns of "solicitation without revealing identity" by religious groups.

▼ Invited
to join a circle ▼ Being
called out at events such as studying abroad ▼ When I was asked for directions ...

In both cases, they are characterized by being casually approached in familiar places such as around campus, and being asked to exchange contact information as the conversation continues.

In addition to other events such as music, volunteering, self-development circles, and job hunting, there have recently been an increasing number of cases of people targeting visitors by holding signs such as lectures on the theme of SDGs.

Professor Tachikake points out that face-to-face solicitation is easier to trust the other person than SNS, and it is difficult to refuse.

Professor Toshiyuki Tachikake, Campus Life Health Support and Consultation Center, Osaka University:
"When you are recruited face-to-face, information such as the personality and atmosphere of the other person is provided through all five senses, so it is easier to trust them than on SNS. Once you believe in the other person and start building relationships, it becomes difficult to notice that something is wrong along the way, and it is often difficult to get out of that relationship. As a result, there are many cases where 'solicitation without revealing one's identity' leads to admission to a religious group."

What are the key points of countermeasures?

There is a measure that Osaka University is taking to increase the opportunities for students to think about the possibility of "I am being targeted now."

First of all, here.

It is a signboard installed on a street where students come and go on campus.

Letters that stand out in red catch your eye, and if you pass through here between classes, you will almost always see them.

In addition, videos are played on digital signage on the campus and at bus stops between campuses.

This is an awareness video originally produced by Osaka University that introduces the method of soliciting suspicious groups.

By drawing in a drama style, it was thought that the students who saw it would be able to recall specific situations.

According to Professor Tachikake, there are some points to keep in mind when receiving a solicitation.

▼ When you are instructed in a definitive tone that "you should do" for "life", "way of life", "how to build a career", etc. ▼ When you are invited to a "Bible study group" or "prayer at church" regardless of the content of your past activities ▼ When

you ask "Is it an activity of a religious group?" but the other person avoids answering or does not reveal the name of the organization

When you see or hear such a situation, I advise you to stop and calmly reflect on your situation, or to talk to the people around you, such as family and friends.

Osaka University has also set up a consultation desk for students with anxiety and has a system in place to connect them with lawyers, counselors, and other specialists.

Professor Toshiyuki Tachikake, Campus Life Health Support and Counseling Center, Osaka University
: "The choice of religion has a great impact on your life. Depending on the doctrinal content and activities of the organization you joined, you may suffer mental, physical, or economic losses. Universities are obliged to create an environment in which students can receive education as a prerequisite for providing educational services that meet the objectives. Therefore, we must not neglect the duty of safety consideration that protects students' rights to life, body, mind, property, religious freedom, etc. That is why I believe that we must take all measures against acts that hinder or distort students' freedom of choice by soliciting without revealing their identities."

"Unidentified solicitation" What is the relationship with religious freedom?

Freedom of religion is a right guaranteed by the Constitution of Japan.

Missionary activities for young people, such as university students, are recognized equally by any religious organization as "freedom of religious conduct" within "freedom of religion."

So, what are the problems with solicitation that is carried out without revealing the identity?

We asked Project Professor Motomi Yajima of Sophia University, who is familiar with the relationship between religion and the Constitution.

According to Project Professor Yajima, it is considered that allowing religious organizations to join them through "solicitation without revealing their identity" violates the "freedom not to believe" or "freedom to believe in another religion" in "freedom of religion."

In deciding whether or not to believe in a religion, it is of utmost importance to understand the name of the religious organization, the content of the doctrine, and the content of the activities, and it is a departure from socially accepted norms for a religious organization not to provide the information necessary for its judgment when conducting missionary activities such as solicitation.

What you need to know to protect yourself

"Undisclosed solicitation" by religious groups and others has been devised one after another in clever ways.

In order not to make unwanted choices without being aware that they are being recruited by religious organizations without being informed of their true purpose, the first thing we need to do is to know how young people are being targeted.

Are you inadvertently disclosing personal information that may be a clue to solicitation?

When exchanging contact information, be careful and discerning the other person.

If you are already in trouble, never go it alone.

It is of utmost importance that you do not hesitate to contact the student affairs department or consultation desk of each university and take measures together with specialists.

It is said that people who are reassured that they are okay are more likely to be recruited.

I want you to have a feeling somewhere in your heart that you may be targeted and take a step towards a new life.

Consultation with experts [National Inspiration Commercial Law Countermeasure Lawyer Liaison Association]
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