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Activity Report: Area & Country >> Japan

31 January 2023

As announced last month, ADRC will hold the Asian Conference on Disaster Reduction 2022 (ACDR2022) in a hybrid format (in-person and online) this year, after having conducted it in an online format only for the past two years. The ACDR is held annually in Japan or another ADRC member country and aims to provide a forum for discussing challenges in promoting DRR in Asian countries among stakeholders from member countries and DRR-related organizations. ACDR2022 is scheduled to be held in Sendai, Japan with a focus on the theme: "WHAT IS NEXT? - Learning from the Past, Preparing for the Future."

An outline of the conference is as follows.

(Date and time)
10-12 March 2023
The meeting on 10 March is for member countries only. The event will be open to public starting on 11 March.

Sendai International Centre

(Draft Programme)
11 March (Saturday)
Special Session on the Centennial Commemoration of the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923
Session 1: Large-Scale Disasters and Countermeasures

12 March (Sunday)
Session 2: Broaden Our Horizons for Disaster Data Linkage in SFDRR Implementation: Application of GLIDE (GLobal IDEntifier Number)
Session 3: The Provision of Information via Satellite for Disaster and Crisis Management

Those wishing to participate in this conference in person and online can register on the ACDR2022 website: 

Any conference updates will be provided on that website and in the next issue of this newsletter. We look forward to your participation.

(2023/01/31 15:00)

12-24 December 2022 (kobe,japan)

ADRC conducted the JICA Knowledge Co-Creation Program entitled "Promotion of Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction" from 12-24 December 2022, in cooperation with JICA Kansai. It was attended by five management-level DRR agency officials from 3 countries: Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Mexico. 

This program aims to share the concept of mainstreaming DRR, that is, incorporating DRR in development policies, and the methods of promoting the mainstreaming of DRR at the policy level. It also aims to share the various experiences of Japan and to examine the strategies and approaches for promoting the mainstreaming of DRR in participants' countries. During the two-week program, participants attend lectures, site visits, and discussions on disaster countermeasures in Japan. They are expected to actively engage in DRR measures to reduce humanitarian and economic losses due to disasters. 

ADRC would like to express its sincerest gratitude to all the organizations and universities that contributed to the success of this program.
(2023/01/05 15:00)
10 November - 9 December 2022 (kobe,japan)

ADRC conducted a JICA Knowledge Co-Creation Program entitled "Comprehensive Disaster Management in Central Asia and Caucasus" from 10 November to 9 December 2022. This program was designed for disaster management administrators in the Central Asia and Caucasus region, with the aim of strengthening the capacity of government agencies primarily responsible for disaster management so as to mitigate human impacts and economic damages caused by natural disasters. With a particular focus on the formulation of priority DRR measures, the program aims to deepen understanding of the importance of such measures, to promote strategic DRR investments in each country, and to promote the implementation of DRR measures that reduce residual risks. Finally, it aims to help participants learn how to draft and implement local DRR plans.

Due to the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the training program was temporarily suspended and subsequently conducted online, but in-person trainings resumed this year for the first time in three years. A total of seven participants from Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, and Tajikistan took part in the five-week program.

The training consisted of in-person and online lectures, visits to DRR facilities mainly in Hyogo Prefecture but also in the Tokyo area, and a workshop on designing local DRR plans. Each participant enthusiastically participated in the lectures and exercises, and presented a draft local DRR plan on the final day to successfully complete the course. It is hoped that the knowledge, skills, and methodologies acquired through this training will be applied to disaster risk management in the participants' home countries.

We would like to express our deepest appreciation to all the supporting organizations and lecturers for their cooperation in conducting this training course.
(2022/12/16 15:00)
8-10 November 2022 (Kobe,Japan)

ADRC hosted two seventh-grade students from 8 to 10 November 2022 as part of the Try-Yaru Week program (work experience for junior high school students in Hyogo Prefecture) organized by Kobe Municipal Harada Junior High School.

During this period, these students not only learned about earthquake resistance, and crafted a model of an earthquake-resistant building out of milk cartons, but also participated in online town watching in the Aotani area of Nada Ward, Kobe City. They also visited the Hyogo Prefectural Emergency Management and Training Center. Students indicated that they "learned a great deal about disasters as they experienced the various activities" and that "the shaking we experienced in the earthquake simulation vehicle was more than I had imagined." The students also commented that they had a fulfilling work experience.

ADRC will continue its efforts to develop human resources for disaster risk reduction in Japan and its member countries.


(2022/11/15 15:00)
28 October 2022

We are pleased to announce that our annual meeting, the Asian Conference on Disaster Reduction for FY2022 (ACDR2022), will be held as a hybrid (onsite and online) conference on 10-12 March 2023 in Sendai, Japan (programmes on 11-12 March are open to the public) . 
The details will be shared in this newsletter, as well as on the ADRC website.
(2022/10/28 15:00)
22 October 2022 (Kobe,Japan)

ADRC organized a workshop entitled, "Differences in Disaster Risk Management (DRM) between Japan and other countries as seen by foreign residents in Japan: cooperation starts from understanding the differences" on 22 October 2022. The workshop, which was a side event at the BOSAI KOKUTAI 2022, covered a range of issues, including: engagement of foreign residents in disaster prevention activities; risk communication; and ways to bridge the differences in DRM practices among Asian countries. 

In the first presentation, Dr. Khaerunnisa (Head, Master of Architecture Program, University of Atma Jaya Yogyakarta, Indonesia), a former foreign student in Osaka, pointed that Indonesia and Japan have relatively different types of support networks for students in times of disaster. In Japan, foreign students can organize themselves to establish a network of support system. This network of students is often country-based and informal. So, students' access to disaster information and engagement in drills conducted by the Japanese local governments are limited. However, disaster information from mass media, TV, internet, and radio are readily accessible to foreign students. By contrast, in Indonesia, it is the government agency that facilitates the organization of community networks (including student networks) to build a strong support-system in times of disasters. 

Mr. NAGANO Koichi (Director, Policy Planning and Coordination Department, Hyogo International Association) provided the second presentation highlighting HIA's activities to support foreign residents during disasters. Among the activities he mentioned, are: 1) "multilingual pointing board", an initiative that shows guidance for preparation and evacuation in times of disaster; 2) "Disaster Preparedness Guide for Children and Parents", a publication disseminated to all residents; and 3) "My Evacuation Card", a card that provides simple instructions for evacuation in nine different languages. Mr. Nagano acknowledged that HIA faces a number of challenges in implementing these activities, such as how to effectively communicate disaster forecasts and warnings to foreigners through SNS and internet with multilingual support. 

Mr. MAMIYA Keita (Risk Management Section Officer, Policy Department, Kusatsu City, Shiga
Prefecture) shared Kusatsu City's pioneering program of organizing "Foreign Firefighters". In this program, the city designates foreign residents who are fluent in both native and Japanese languages (as well as having deep understanding of Japanese lifestyle and culture) to be firefighters. During normal times, foreign firefighters receive training and participate in disaster risk reduction activities, including seminars and lectures. During emergency, foreign firefighters also help in disseminating information via SNS, support safe evacuation, and assist in counselling using their respective native languages. 

Dr. Gerry Potutan (Senior Researcher, ADRC) presented the outcomes of the online survey that looked into the differences in DRM practices between Japan and other countries as perceived by foreign residents. Results showed that foreign residents generally perceived Japan's DRM practices (e.g., hazard maps, disaster drill, evacuation guidance, and early warning) to be "excellent" compared to their respective countries of origin. By rating "excellent", respondents indicated that Japan serves as benchmark to other countries in terms of planning and designing effective DRM programs. In terms of the key challenge in risk communication, most respondents mentioned "language barrier". To address this challenge, respondents suggested the following: use of visual tools (e.g., images, drawings, and signs); reach out to foreign residents early (e.g., during arrival and registration process) for disaster preparedness; and enhance multilingual services (e.g., translations and subtitles in more languages). 

At the closing, MR. ARAKIDA Masaru (Director, Researcher Department, ADRC), who moderated the workshop, acknowledged that since foreign residents in Japan came from diverse culture and background, it is expected that the DRM practices of their respective countries can be different from Japan. This situation can be challenging for most Japanese local governments to communicate disaster risk. The suggestions that came up in this workshop will offer insights on how to address this challenge. He also mentioned that all presentation materials can be accessed on ADRC website: 
(2022/10/27 15:00)
1 September 2021 (Online)

On 1 September 2021, ADRC participated in the 5th Global Summit of GADRI: Engaging Sciences in Action, which was organized by the Global Alliance of Disaster Research Institutes (GADRI) managed by Kyoto University. This conference was held in an online format, and research institutions and universities from around the world gave updates on their latest studies and ongoing projects. ADRC participated in the Group 2 Panel Discussion Session and gave a presentation on the utilization of space technology for DRR and good practices involving Sentinel Asia. In this presentation, ADRC suggested strengthening the networks between disaster management organizations and space agencies, and expanding the networks of research institutions to support Sentinel Asia.

(2021/9/15 18:30)
2 September 2020 (Japan)

There are many kinds of programs for DRR in Asian countries. Disaster education is a good way to ensure that people are studying basic DRR information and countermeasures against future disasters. Many organizations have been conducting disaster education projects in Banda Aceh, Indonesia which was so tragically impacted by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.
Today we would like to introduce Multilateral International Students (MIS), an NPO which was established by students of Tokyo University in 2011. MIS currently has more than 140 students and conducts many programs in Asian countries addressing poverty, the environment, support for agriculture, and DRR. MIS consists of several teams that focus on different themes. One of these teams, Japan Indonesia Students Interaction (JISI), started a disaster education program in Banda Aceh in 2014. JISI collaborates with a local university to conduct training workshops and evacuation drills for students and teachers. However, these programs have been paused this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, JISI is collecting information on good practices in Japan. ADRC and JISI had an online meeting for sharing experiences and knowledge to improve disaster education on 2 September 2020. In this meeting, we confirmed our mutual interest in conducting a localized program based on the opinions of residents and coordinating evacuation drills for students, teachers, and the community. ADRC would like to collaborate with JISI on implementing an appropriate disaster education program in Indonesia.

2 April 2020 (Asian Countries)

ADRC conducted a research on challenges in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Asian countries in cooperation with the former visiting researchers. As a first report, the report of the observation in the Philippines and Japan is available on our website. (PDF, 1.8MB)

(2020/05/07 10:40)

26-29 November 2019 (Nagoya, Japan)

The 26th Session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) was held from 26 to 29 November 2019 in Nagoya, Japan. It was co-organized by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).  APRSAF was established in 1993 to enhance space activities in the Asia-Pacific region. Attended by space agencies, governments, and international organizations such as the United Nations as well as companies, universities and research institutes, this forum is the largest space-related conference in the AsiaPacific region.  APRSAF has four Working Groups: the (1) Space Applications Working Group (SAWG), (2) Space Technology Working Group (STWG), (3) Space Environment Utilization Working Group (SEUWG), and (4) Space Education Working Group (SEWG). APRSAF participants share information about their activities and future plans for their countries and regions in each working group. APRSAF also supports international projects designed to find solutions to common issues such as disaster management and environmental protection. 

The Sentinel Asia initiative is one such activity and involves the use of space-based information in the form of satellite images for disaster management. ADRC has been tasked with the responsibility of receiving emergency observation requests from ADRC member countries and Joint Project Team (JPT) members. ADRC joined the Space Applications Working Group (SAWG) and reported on trends in Sentinel Asia emergency observation requests and its future action plans.

1-2 November 2018

Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) participated in the Sixth Joint Project Team Meeting for Sentinel Asia, which was organized by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and ADRC from 1 to 2 November 2018 in Awaji, Japan. The meeting was attended by about 40 participants including representatives of satellite agencies, disaster management organizations, and academic institutions in Japan. The 
meeting primarily covered the following topics:

  Session 1: Overview
  Session 2: New Membership and Working Group Activities
  Session 3: Users' Session
  Session 4: Local Host's Session
  Session 5: Project Management
  Session 6: Sentinel Asia System
  Session 7: Strategic Plan for Sentinel Asia (under the leadership of the 
       Steering Committee)
  Session 8: Special Session - Contributions of Sentinel Asia to Achieving the
        Global Agenda
  Session 9: Closing session

The ADRC member countries of Myanmar, Lao PDR, and Malaysia also joined this meeting and gave presentations on disaster management in their 
respective countries. ADRC presented information on the activation of emergency observations in 2017 and activities related to the Sentinel Asia Strategic Plan. Mr. Suzuki, ADRC Executive Director and co-chair of the event, gave closing 

(2018/11/25 18:30)
18-19 September 2014, (Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic)


ADRC participated in the Second Regional Ministerial Conference of Disaster Management Authorities in Central Asia under the "Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue held in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic on 18-19 September 2014. This conference, organized by the government of Japan, the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Kyrgyz Republic, and UNDP Kyrgyzstan, aimed to discuss the possible creation of a high level forum for disaster management authorities involved in DRR under the "Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue. The participants included representatives of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as the Embassy of Japan in the Kyrgyz Republic, JICA, and other international organizations.
     During the conference, participants discussed the most urgent DRR issues facing the region as well as future opportunities for cooperation. ADRC presented information on the outcomes of DRR programs conducted in various Central Asian countries, and identified needs and areas for future DRR cooperation in the region.
     At the end of the two-day conference, the participants agreed to establish and regularly convene a forum for the heads of the disaster management authorities in Central Asia for discussing efforts to strengthen regional cooperation in reducing, preventing, and responding to disaster risks. In addition, an expert level working group of disaster management authorities in Central Asia will be established to support this forum.

(2014/09/18 16:50)


8-11 May 2013 (Chengdu, China)


The Forum on Post-Disaster Revival and International Disaster Reduction -Experience and Lessons from 5-Year Wenchuan Post-Disaster Reconstruction and Lushan Earthquake Relief, organized by the Sichuan University, and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, was held in Chengdu, China in May 2013. As a cooperation of this forum, the ADRC sent one representative from IRP secretariat to attend. The forum's over 300 participants included experts from government officials and academic experts across China.

During the keynote speech, Mr. Shingo Kouchi, ADRC Senior Expert as well as IRP Senior Recovery Expert, valued the Government and people of China's high ability to promote recovery and reconstruction efforts following the Wenchuan Earthquake that struck Sichuan Province in May 2008.  Mr. Kouchi also noted that ADRC and IRP have long been in help to China's efforts to utilize Japanese technologies, experiences, and lessons related to earthquake disaster risk reduction.

Mr. Kouchi also emphasized the importance of everyday preparedness by citizens, in addition to the government efforts, when a massive disaster strikes. In this connection, the Lushan Earthquake which occurred in late April showed the evidence of progress of disaster reduction and preparedness since five years ago.

On occasion of commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Wenchuan earthquake, the Sichuan
U - The HK PolyU Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction (IDMR) has been established. Followed by the opening ceremony, signing ceremony of MoU between ADRC and IDMR was held. The purpose of ADRC and IDMR is to promote smoothly the releasing and sharing of information related to disaster prevention and post-disaster reconstruction, developing of disaster prevention and post-disaster reconstruction programs and educating talents in the field of disaster prevention and post-disaster reconstruction. The two parties will be dedicated to cooperation and mutual participation in the following activities;
(1) Promote personnel exchanges by mutual reception of research staff, faculty and students related to activities of both parties.
(2) Give priority to research projects with mutual participation to promote collaborative research.
(3) Promote the implementation of joint activities including the releasing and sharing of information on research results and professional knowledge.

The ADRC, together with the IDMR, would like to continue to support efforts to strengthen the disaster reduction capabilities of the affected communities.

(2013/06/11 14:50)


2 May 2012 (Kobe, Japan)
Mr. Masaharu Nagagawa, Minister of State for Disaster Management, visited offices of international institutions located in HAT Kobe on May 2. Executive Director of Asian Disaster Reduction Center, Senior Recovery Expert of International Recovery Platform, Head of United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Hyogo office and Head of UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Kobe office welcomed the minister, introduced outlines of their activities. The minister expressed his expectation of disseminating globally the experiences of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and the Great East Japan Earthquake by these institutions.
(2012/05/09 18:30)

8-9 March 2012 (Tokyo, Japan)

Seminar on Disaster Risk Management in Asia: Lessons and Challenges was held by Asian Developing Bank Institute from 8 to 9 March 2012 in Tokyo, Japan.  The ADRC explained the importance of business continuity plan (BCP) in the private sector for the regional resilience and the current situation of the private sector in the APEC region based on the research made by ADRC.

About 100 officials, experts from public and private organizations participated in the seminar and actively exchanged views and opinions among them, demonstrating their strong interests in disaster risk management measures both structural and non-structural.

(2012/3/9 11:30)

30 August-1 September 2010, Tokyo, Japan


As a partner organization, ADRC participated in the ASEAN plus Three International Conference on Disaster Management in Tokyo.

ASEAN Plus Three International Conference on Disaster Management, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in close cooperation with the Cabinet Office of Japan, United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), with participation of officials and academic experts from ASEAN countries Plus Three  countries and observer countries such as Australia and India as well as other international organizations, was convened on 30 August-1 September 2010 in Tokyo, Japan.

The Meeting reviewed the progresses and challenges in the first half decade of the HFA 2005-2015 in the region and discussed to identify new challenges in the next half decade of the HFA with a view to contributing to the Mid-Term Review of the HFA. Participants of the Meeting shared the view that progresses have been made at both national and regional levels.

It was also pointed out that adaptation to climate change should be linked with disaster risk reduction policy in each country and facilitated through the regional cooperation in view of the disaster management.

The Meeting also acknowledged the important role of ADRC to the regional cooperation in Asia on disaster management and recognized valuable and significant activities of JICA in bilateral cooperation on disaster management through the Official Development Assistance of Japanese government.


ASEAN Plus Three; ASEAN Member States (Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam) and People's Republic of China, Japan and Republic of Korea

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