Jack Moyer

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Jack Thomson Moyer
Native name
Born(1929-03-07)March 7, 1929
Kansas, United States
DiedJanuary 10, 2004(2004-01-10) (aged 74)
Tokyo, Japan
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
Scientific career
FieldsMarine biology

Dr. Jack Thomson Moyer (March 7, 1929 – January 10, 2004) was a marine biologist and known child sexual abuser from Kansas, who lived for most of his life on Miyake-jima in Japan. Moyer was a scientist with the United States Air Force, who became a teacher later in life for the American School in Japan (ASIJ). He committed suicide in 2004. After his death, multiple allegations surfaced that Moyer had sexually molested students during his tenure at the ASIJ.

Life and career[edit]

Jack Moyer was born on 7 March 1929, in Kansas, United States.

He made his first visit to Japan in 1951 with the United States Air Force, and made his first trip to Miyake-jima the following year. During his time in Japan, Moyer saw that the Air Force was using Onoharajima as a practice bombing range. Moyer wrote a letter to an associate of President Harry S. Truman to stop the bombing in order to save a rare seabird, the Japanese murrelet, that breeds on Onoharajima. The bombing was stopped.[1] Moyer later moved to Miyake-jima in 1957 after graduating from Colgate University, and became a part of the island community for over 50 years.

Moyer received a master's from the University of Michigan and attained his doctorate in marine ecology from the University of Tokyo.[2] Moyer was an ornithologist, marine biologist and naturalist who focused on the Izu islands and promoted the need for preservation of the islands' unique ecology. Having spent many years on Miyake-jima he was aware of the changes that came with modernization. Construction of public roads and harbors claimed increasing amounts of previously untouched mountain forest areas of the islands, and increasing car traffic and sea pollution were important concerns of his as well. During his time on Miyake-jima, Moyer organized a summer school for local children.[3] In 1996, he was awarded the Asahi Shimbun prize for his work on ocean ecology and the education of young children.[4]

Later in life, Moyer split his time between Miyake-jima and Tokyo, where he taught a course entitled "Japan Lands And People" (JLAP) at the American School in Japan (ASIJ). Moyer was an extremely popular teacher at the school.[1] A highlight of the JLAP course was the annual week-long trip to Miyake-jima for the 7th grade ASIJ class, where they would stay in Moyer's modest island home while studying local fisheries and farming.

Moyer wrote several articles for the Japan Times on the marine biology of Japan.[5] He was the author of several books, including Dolphin interpreter Introduction ISBN 4861640032 and Man of the sea and the birds ISBN 4886221092.

Along with the other residents of the island, Moyer was forced to flee the island following the eruptions of Mount Oyama in 2000. Later, he was asked by the Tokyo Metropolitan government to survey the island. He concluded that the island's ecology was recovering.


Moyer committed suicide at age 74 in his Tokyo home in 2004.[6] Moyer left behind two suicide notes, and his body was discovered among a batch of unidentified sleeping pills.[6]


In March 2014, The American School in Japan admitted that several alumni had been sexually abused as middle school students by Moyer, while he was a teacher at the school. As many as 32 girls were victimized by Moyer, starting as early as 1964.[7] In 2014, a legal firm representing 10 women who had allegedly been victims of Moyer's sent a demand letter to the ASIJ, claiming the school had been told repeatedly about Moyer's actions, but did nothing.[8]

In June, 2015, the ASIJ Board of Directors released a letter admitting that an independent investigation found that Jack Moyer's abuse of students was extensive and that the abuse was covered up by faculty and administrators for years. The board apologized for the harm this has caused and promised to release the report in English and Japanese by mid-June, 2015.[9] The full report, released by Ropes & Gray LLP on June 15, 2015, concluded "[i]n light of all of the evidence we have examined, it is apparent to us that Moyer was a serial pedophile who, in our assessment, sexually abused female ASIJ students".[10][11] Lawyers for 13 of the victims also released their report on June 15, 2015.[12]


  1. ^ a b Stephen Hesse. "'Miyake man' leaves a legacy of inspiration". The Japan Times. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  2. ^ Jack T. Moyer | People | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
  3. ^ Satoko Seino. "Toward the Revival of Miyake-jima After the Latest Volcanic Eruption" (PDF). Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  4. ^ Jon Mitchell. "ASIJ admits honored teacher sexually abused students". The Japan Times. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Jack T. Moyer". The Japan Times. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Famed conservationist Jack Moyer commits suicide in Tokyo". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
  7. ^ Mitchell, John. "ASIJ admits honored teacher sexually abused students" (Archive). The Japan Times. March 20, 2014. Retrieved on May 28, 2014.
  8. ^ Amiee Green. "American School in Japan told pedophile teacher abused girls for decades, Portland firm says". Oregonlive. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  9. ^ Tomohiro Osaki. "American School in Japan admits covering up teacher's sex abuse for decades". The Japan Times. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  10. ^ "The Ropes & Gray report of sexual abuse by Jack Moyer" (PDF). American School in Japan. p. 30. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  11. ^ Tomohiro Osaki. "ASIJ sex abouse report is finally released, blames 'culteral taboos'". The Japan Times. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Report on the Sexual Abuse of Students at the American School in Japan" (PDF). Crew Janci LLP. Retrieved 15 June 2015.