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Activity Report: Area & Country >> Japan

10 - 21 July 2023 (Kobe, Japan)

ADRC conducted the JICA Knowledge Co-Creation Program: Malaysia "LEP2.0 Enhancement of the Disaster Risk Management Capacity of the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA)" Countermeasures against Sediment related Disaster from 10 to 21 July 2023. 

A total of twelve officials from disaster risk management and relevant Malaysian organizations participated in this intensive two-week program to learn about the sediment disaster policies and practices of Japan. They attended lectures by experts in the field, including from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, local government and research institutes, and visited sites in Hiroshima, Nara and Osaka where sediment disaster countermeasures have been installed. At the end of the program, the participants presented their action plan based on their findings over the two weeks. 

ADRC would like to express its sincerest gratitude to all the organizations and universities that contributed to the success of the program. 
(2023/7/28 15:00)

10 June 2023 (Anagasaki, Japan)

At the panel discussion "Towards Recovery from the Turkey-Syria Earthquake" held in the 4th Conference of the Society for Disaster Education on 10 June 2023 from 13:00 to 15:00, ADRC presented the current status of disaster education in Turkish schools and ADRC's activities relevant to earthquake and DRR education in Turkey along with an overview of the Turkey-Syria earthquake. Under the coordination of Mr SUWA Seiji, President of the Society for Disaster Education, the role of disaster education in recovery from the Turkey-Syria earthquake was discussed with Mr Emin Ozdamar, Vice-President of the Turkish Japanese Foundation, and Mr YOSHITSUBAKI Masamichi, Secretary General of Citizens towards Overseas Disaster Emergency (CODE).
(2023/06/17 15:00)
17 - 21 May 2023 (Japan)

A delegation from the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), Thailand visited Japan from 17 to 21 May 2023 to conduct the "Study Visit Program for Enhancing the Capacity of a National Early Warning System and Establishing Cell Broadcast System in Thailand." The delegation included Mr Boontham Lertsukekasem, Director General of DDPM, and 11 other senior officials who are in charge of early warning system and dissemination in the department. 

The group visited some organisations involved in the river early warning and information dissemination system including: the Kanto Regional Development Bureau's Kofu Work Office under the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT); the Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA) under the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC); the Sumida City Office; the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK); NTT Docomo; the Japan Telecommunications Engineering and Consulting Service (JTEC); and the Honjo Life Safety Learning Center. The visits gave the group an opportunity to obtain directly from the respective organisations a wide perspective of the latest initiatives taken in Japan concerning the river early warning system ranging from the acquisition of river observation data to information dissemination to the public through the dissemination system utilized by the emergency response agencies such as FDMA and local governments, and by the media and mobile phone companies.

Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) supported the delegation by advising on the development of its agenda and by accompanying the delegation on the study visits.
(2023/05/24 15:00)
9 May - 30 June 2023 (Online + Kobe, Japan)

ADRC conducted the JICA Knowledge Co-Creation Program course entitled "Comprehensive Disaster Risk Reduction for Central and South American Countries JFY2023" from 9 May to 30 June 2023, in cooperation with JICA Kansai. It was attended by 10 participants from 10 Central and South American countries: Colombia, Nicaragua, Peru, Argentina, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Chile, El Salvador, Ecuador, and Panama.

The program consisted of 4 weeks of online and 3 weeks of face-to-face lectures and exercises to learn about Japanese experiences and technologies in disaster risk reduction. It also included site visits to Hyogo and Kumamoto prefectures to observe various countermeasures including experiences in Hyogo Prefectural Emergency Management and Training Center, comprehensive flood control measures in Kako River and sediment disaster control in the Aso region. At the end of the course, the participants developed a draft local plan for DRR in their own countries through the 8-step workshop. After each going back to their own country, 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 course.
2023/07/07 15:00
10 - 12 March 2023 (Sendai, Japan hybrid with online)

The field trip that took place after the conference of the Asian Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2022 (ACDR2022), which took place in Sendai, Japan, in March 2023.

On 12 March 2023, after the conference adjourned, participants moved by bus to the Yuriage area in Natori City. After each enjoying a lunch of local seafood and products at Yuriage Minato Asaichi (morning market) /Maple Hall, the participants joined a walking tour to observe the recovery and urban planning situations in the area following the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, with the assistance of the Natori City Kitagama Construction Promotion Office.

The participants visited the following three places with the Mayor of Natori City, Mr YAMADA Shiro: (1) Earthquake Reconstruction Museum, (2) Teizan Canal and Restoration Public Houses, and (3) Kawamachi Terrace Yuriage (commercial shopping centre).

At the Earthquake Reconstruction Museum, the participants divided into two groups and received an explanation from the Mayor on the overview of the recovery situation of the area and the facility's function as a flood defence facility at the time of emergencies. In particular, the explanation of the post-disaster town planning attracted a lot of interest, as it talked about how the population declined immediately after the earthquake and tsunami event, and how it turned to increase after the promotion of the new town planning. 

The participants then walked along the Teizan Canal and the reconstruction public housing area, where they were able to directly see and learn how the land level was raised and tsunami emergency evacuation sites were set up in public housings.

Finally, the participants visited the Kawamachi Terrace Yuriage commercial centre and were given a briefing on its disaster preparedness functions. After the explanation, the participants had some time to stroll around the shopping area overflowing with locals and tourists enjoying the weekend on the riverbank.

During the two-hour field trip, participants raised active questions about the specific community development measures and reconstruction policies implemented by Natori City, and showed great interest in the reconstruction efforts taken in the area so they could reflect them to their jobs at home as disaster management administrators and officials.

This field trip was made possible through a great contribution of Natori City Kitagama Construction Promotion Office. The brochure, "Initiatives for Post-Earthquake Reconstruction in Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture," provided by the office, served not only as a great reference material for the visit, but also a source of many valuable reconstruction experiences for the participants to take home.

We would like to thank once again to all those who supported with us on this field trip and those who participated in ACDR2022.
(2023/03/22 15:00)
10 - 12 March 2023 (Sendai, Japan hybrid with online)

Reports on Session 1, 2 and 3 of the Asian Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2022 (ACDR2022), which took place in Sendai, Japan, in March 2023.

<Session 1: Large-Scale Disasters and Countermeasures>

This session shared information on the current situations of large-scale disasters and the responses to them. Disasters are intensifying around the world due to the climate change, increasing economic damages caused by the progress of urbanisation and impacts of the cascading and compounding risks. Furthermore, the session provided an opportunity to learn about disaster risk management (DRM) systems, including a more effective pre-disaster investment in DRR and DRM measures.

Dr SAKAMOTO Mayumi (Professor, Graduate School of Disaster Resilience and Governance, University of Hyogo) moderated this session. In her introduction, she stressed the importance of improving the countermeasures for large-scale disasters. Water-related disasters are getting more frequent and intense, such as seen in the unusually prolonged floods that occurred in Pakistan in 2022. Earthquakes, such as those in Turkiye and Syria in February 2023, have unknown dynamics and unpredictable occurrence. It was noted that the impact of these disasters often cross national borders affecting people living in different countries. 

Dr ARASHIMA Chizu (Professor, International and European Union Law, Faculty of Global Communication, Kobe Gakuin University) presented the issues in transboundary disaster governance from the perspective of international law. She highlighted the importance of science-based data in negotiating treaties or bilateral agreements between countries on addressing transboundary disasters.

Mr Saleem Shahzad Malik (Director, Disaster Risk Reduction, National Disaster Management Authority, Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan) presented the disaster risk reduction and climate change adaption activities in Pakistan. In particular, the government is strengthening its disaster management system to address extreme events such as the prolonged and devastating floods in 2022. Additionally, the government has been adopting new technology in disaster risk management as well as utilising scientific data to further enhance its disaster risk reduction strategies.

Dr Le Minh Nhat (Deputy Director, Department of Natural Disaster Response and Recovery, Vietnam Disaster Management Authority, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam) presented an overview of the disaster risk management system in Vietnam. He said that flood is the most frequent type of disaster in the country. To address this, major financial and structural investments have been promoted in flood control and management. In fact, the National DRR Plan 2021-2025 puts greater priority in implementing flood control projects.

Mr Serik Aubakiro (Acting Director, Center for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction (CESDRR)) introduced roles and functions of CESDRR, which is a permanent intergovernmental body to help address transboundary disasters and emergencies. CESDRR was established through the agreement between the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic to achieve the following objectives: 1) cooperation in disaster risk reduction, prevention and elimination of emergency situations; 2) mitigate factors of disaster risk, identify, assess, forecast and monitor emergency situation hazards; 3) coordinate mutual efforts and strengthen preparedness for effective and timely response to emergencies; 4) implement regional and international cooperation in DRR and emergency management; and 5) increase the safety of life activities of the population during natural and man-made disasters.

Dr Sakamoto, in her conclusion of the session, acknowledged that this session made clear that information sharing between countries of origin of the disaster and countries affected by that disaster is critical in mitigating transboundary impacts. However, despite the urgency required for information sharing as disaster response, there is no practical international communication system that can be used in emergency situations, since techniques and rules for natural disaster monitoring vary from country to country. One of her suggestions is to establish an international risk communication system among relevant organisations to enhance transboundary disaster risk management.

<Session 2: Broaden Our Horizons for Disaster Data Linkage in SFDRR Implementation: Application of GLIDE (GLobal IDEntifier Number)>

This session reviewed the current status of the disaster data management in Asia and introduced some tools and practices to effectively deal with the data collected from wide range of stakeholders. It aimed at contributing to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) Target G-5: Number of countries that have accessible, understandable, usable and relevant disaster risk information and assessment available to the people at the national and local level.

Mr Julio Serje (Consultant, ADRC and Director, RobotSearch Software Inc.) moderated this session. In the introduction, he emphasized the challenges relating to disaster data management in disaster risk reduction. There are still gaps among stakeholders on how damages and losses data are managed. On the other hand, most of the disaster data just remain aggregated and not put into use. These challenges exist on top of the fact that disaster data is getting more complex, and therefore, it is important to promote the establishment of linkages among the various data management tools existing in the Asian region.

Dr Animesh Kumar (Head, UNDRR Office in Bonn, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction) reported the progress in monitoring the SFDRR. He informed that as of February 2023, the cumulative number of countries using Sendai Framework Monitor (SFM) to report on DRR progress amounted to 156. The SFM targets and indicators are also finding application in several intergovernmental processes, while the data has helped reporting on SDGs and are being used by partner organisations in thematic reports and programmes. The challenge in reporting is that developing countries, especially LDCs and SIDS, are struggling to provide data to all targets and all indicators for the SFM. To help advance monitoring, new models and tools are being developed particularly in tracking of disaster losses and damages. The new model is expected to link climate-related variables, losses and damages, and disaster events.

Mr Demberelnyam Baasansuren (Director, Risk Management Department, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mongolia) presented the practices and challenges of disaster data gathering and sharing in Mongolia. One of those practices is the Spatial Information System that NEMA established in 2019 in order to share hazard information nationwide. Among the challenges in data gathering are barriers in distributing the registration templates and guidance to respective stakeholders for raw data collection. In addition, the human and technological capacities are insufficient to provide an understanding on the necessity in collecting and generating reliable data. As way forward, NEMA will strengthen knowledge and understanding of data disaggregation and its importance through training and other outreach activities.

Dr Chihun Lee (Senior Research Officer, National Disaster Management Research Institute, Ministry of the Interior and Safety, Republic of Korea) talked about the international cooperation on disaster risk reduction focusing on early warning systems for floods. He highlighted the cooperation project carried out with the Philippine government to install flood early warning systems putting emphasis on communication protocols. 

Mr Rajesh Sharma, (Programme Specialist (Global) Disaster Risk Information and Application Crisis Bureau, Bangkok Regional Hub United Nations Development Programme, Bangkok, Thailand) introduced UNDP's Digital Disaster Risk Reduction Maturity Model (DDRRMM). This is a tool that diagnose the maturity of the digital ecosystem of disaster risk reduction and management practices. In developing this tool, UNDP conducted an in-depth analysis of national disaster database systems to support the new generation of disaster data and information systems in line with the level of digital maturity of each country. He highlighted the importance of digital and data governance for DRM, and this needs to be promoted through legal and institutional frameworks, policies, strategies, action plans, and practical guidelines.  

Mr Keith Paolo C. Landicho (Disaster Monitoring and Analysis Officer, ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management) presented the evolution of the ASEAN Disaster Information Network (ADINet), which is a repository of information on hazards and disasters that occurred in Southeast Asian region. ADINet has two types of linkages. One of them are "existing linkages" that include: linkages for validation, linkages for research application, and linkages for coverage. The others are "external linkages" that include: linkages for integration and linkage for enhancement. ADINet's linkage with GLIDE fits under the linkages for integration.

Dr SHIOMI Yumi (Senior Researcher, Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC)), presented the GLobal disaster IDEntifier (GLIDE) improvements, particularly on open governance and better functionality. In terms of governance, a steering committee was established in 2021 as well as the three subcommittees: API, SOP, and New Product Development. In terms of functionality, two new manuals were drafted and crowdsourcing was introduced in 2022 to allow users to report "missing disasters in the GLIDE database." Linkages of GLIDE with other disaster data management tools have been constantly coordinated, such as linkage with Reliefweb, Sentinel Asia, UNOSAT, ADINet, and ESCAP.

The session featured the challenges for collecting, reporting and sharing disaster data and the practices to manage it effectively. While the number of countries that reported its progress of implementing the SFDRR has increased, it was found that there are still gaps in data collection and management at national and local levels. To address these challenges, various tools have been developed by stakeholders. Linkages of various data management tools need to be promoted.

<Session 3: The Provision of Information via Satellite for Disaster and Crisis Management>

This session provided an overview of the utilization of the Quasi Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) for disaster and crisis management (DC Report). It also presented the outcomes of QZSS DC Report demonstrations in some countries.

Dr Gerald Potutan (Senior Researcher, ADRC and Visiting Associate Professor, Kobe University) moderated this session. In many remote, mountainous, and island areas in Asia, people have limited or no access to internet or cellular communications. Oftentimes, the warning information to evacuate does not reach the people at risk. Providing the warning information via QZSS helps address this challenge. It directly transmits the message to: 1) individuals with receivers/terminals; 2) outdoor electronic facilities/boards; and 3) ground receivers that activate community alarms (e.g., siren and beam lights). 

Mr HONGO Nobuo (Deputy Director, National Space Policy Secretariat, QZSS Strategy Office, Cabinet Office, Japan) explained about the Satellite Report for Disaster and Crisis Management (DC Report) which is one of the services under QZSS. With this service, disaster management agencies can provide warning information via QZSS satellites to communities-at-risk even in the absence of internet or cellular services. As of December 2022, approximately 390 products are compatible with QZSS. Using some of these products (smartphone apps), demonstrations of QZSS utilization were conducted in Australia, Fiji, and Thailand.

Ms Runjie Gou (GIS Engineer, Social Innovation Division, NTT DATA Corporation) presented the outline and progress of the QZSS Project, which is jointly implemented by five partner organizations: Cabinet Office of Japan, NTT Data Corporation, Keio University, PASCO Corporation, Asia Air Survey, and ADRC. Ms Gou said that the main purpose of the project is to create a system using the QZSS DC Report service that is tailored to each country's needs and environment as well as to conduct QZSS DC Report Demonstrations before it officially starts operation in 2024. In the demonstrations, the project will identify requirements and issues for deployment of the system.

Dr Hasi Bateer (Hasi Lab Director, Advanced Technologies Research Laboratory, Infrastructure Systems Development Center, Asia Air Survey, Co. Ltd.) reported the outcomes of feasibility study for disaster information system using QZSS. The study covers 21 countries in Asia and Pacific region, and investigated the following: 1) conditions for receiving QZSS, 2) specific disaster cases and issues; and 3) Early Warning System implementation needs. The outcomes highlighted information transmission issues, including: distortion of information as it passes through many channels; delayed arrival of information; and limited coverage of telecommunications network. In order to have an effective transmission of warning information, the study recommended that following characteristics must be present in the information system: robustness, immediacy, correctness, and comprehensiveness.

Mr ICHIKAWA Ryunosuke (Assistant Manager, Social Innovation Division, NTT DATA Corporation) presented results of QZSS validations conducted in Thailand, Fiji, and Australia. In the Thailand, the scenario was forest fire. By using QZSS, rangers were able to receive information directly from QZSS wherever they are in the park. In Fiji, the scenario was tsunami, and station devices were able to receive the transmission of QZSS and then further disperse the information by low power wide area network (LPWAN). In Australia, the scenario was bushfire. Information from QZSS were received through smartphones. Following up on this promising result, the next demonstration will be on a more practical application including residents to receive messages on mobile terminals by using different communication methods (e.g., Wi-Fi, LPWAN, and Bluetooth). 

Ms Vasiti SOKO (Director, National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), Fiji) mentioned that one of the reasons for using QZSS in Fiji is due to its location in the Pacific Ocean,  situated in between Vanuatu and Samoa which are also disaster prone countries, thus the disasters in these countries having a strong impact on each other. Also, the risk communication system is still limited in Fiji. Since NDMO Fiji is strengthening its disaster management system including early warning system, the utilisation of QZSS DC Report service in Fiji is a welcome endeavor.

Mr Socheath So (Senior Technical Officer, The National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), Cambodia) introduced Cambodia's disaster risk management information system called Platform for Real-time Impact and Situation Monitoring (PRISM). This platform links the field assessment information, early warning systems, satellite data, baseline population, and socio-economic vulnerability data to effectively measure the risk and its impact. QZSS is expected to augment the PRISM by providing warning information transmission system that is tailored to the local environment. 
(2023/03/22 15:00)
10 - 12 March 2023 (Sendai, Japan hybrid with online)

The Asian Conference on Disaster Reduction 2022 (ACDR2022) was held on 10-12 March 2023 at Sendai International Center, Miyagi Prefecture. This conference was held in a hybrid format to ease the attendance of a broader range of participants from member countries and relative organizations through online participation. As the result, the conference was attended by a total of 205 participants, 84 on-site and 121 online, including representatives from member countries, international organizations, private sectors, and academic/ research institutes.

We will report on the opening session of the conference and special session relating to the "Centenary of the Great Kanto Earthquake."

<Opening Session>

In the opening remarks, Mr TANI Kouichi, Minister of State for Disaster Management, Government of Japan first expressed his condolences for the Great East Japan Earthquake and the massive earthquake in Turkey and Syria. He emphasized the importance of ACDR which has been held annually since 2003. Next, Dr HAMADA Masanori, Chairman of ADRC said that ADRC has been promoting multilateral cooperation and support for disaster risk reduction since its establishment in 1998, and that he strongly believes that member countries can contribute to the creation of a safe and secure society by deepening cooperation and collaboration. Finally, Ms KORI Kazuko, Mayor of Sendai City also expressed her condolences for the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. And she expressed her gratitude for the ACDR2022 being held in Sendai City for the second time since the Great East Japan Earthquake. She also emphasized, base on her experience of the Great East Japan Earthquake, the importance of participants sharing their thoughts and knowledge and connecting with each other in order to appropriate preparedness for risks such as frequent disasters in Asian countries.

Mr SASAHARA Akio, Executive Director of ADRC, read a message on behalf of the Head of the Disaster and Disaster Management Authority (AFAD) under the Ministry of Interioir in Turkey who was unable to participate in ACDR2022.

<Special Session on the Centenary of the Great Kanto Earthquake -What can we learn from past disasters and how can we apply the lessons learned?->

This session comprised three topics of discussions: 1) lessons learned from the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake and subsequent countermeasures; 2) new findings and remaining challenges from the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake; and 3) what lessons and technologies from past disasters can be utilized to mitigate future risk in disaster-prone Asia.

Dr ITOH Shigeru, President of ADRC introduced the fact that safe city planning and modern urban design were inspired by the reconstruction of the Great Kanto Earthquake. It was the catalyst for a great leap forward in architecture and urbanism. He noted about the increasing use of concrete in public housings, whereas the apartment buildings with clapboard exteriors made of bare wood were replaced by concrete structures. 

Dr HAMADA Masanori, Chairman of ADRC, said that the Great Kanto Earthquake marked the beginning of earthquake engineering in Japan. He introduced that the Great Kanto Earthquake damaged not only wooden houses, but also modern buildings constructed with technology imported from overseas since the Meiji Restoration, which led to the development of earthquake-resistant design of buildings and structures. 

Dr HASEMI Yuji, Professor Emeritus of Science and Engineering at Waseda University, explained that the rapid increase in population during the First World War led to the expansion of areas densely populated with wooden buildings in urban regions. These areas caused simultaneous fires during the earthquake, and that because of this experience, fire prevention measures were introduced into these areas.

Prof. SHIGEKAWA Kishie, Professor at the Faculty of Social and Environmental Studies, Tokoha University, mentioned the importance of "people's development" by promoting disaster education and improving disaster literacy. Japan has accumulated a variety of experiences and lessons that may be applicable and useful in the Asian region. 

In conclusion, the moderator, Mr YOSHIMURA Hidemi, Former Chief Commentator, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) said that through the discussions of the panelists, it became clear that, since the Great Kanto Earthquake, structural and non-structural disaster prevention measures have been developed, studied and improved to cope with various types of damage, and that Japan has started to promote pre-disaster investment based on the assumption of worst-case scenario. 
(2023/03/21 15:00)

10 - 12 March 2023(Sendai, Japan hybrid with online)

The Asian Conference on Disaster Reduction 2022 (ACDR2022) was held at the Sendai International Center in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, from 10 to 12 March 2023. This event was adapted to a hybrid format, with online participation available to a wide range of member countries and other interested parties.

The basic theme of ACDR2022 was "WHAT IS NEXT? Learning from the Past, Preparing for the Future." ACDR2022 highlighted the importance of applying past lessons towards efforts for risk-informed preparedness to further strengthen national-level DRM systems. 

Three sessions were held for ACDR2022: (1) Large-Scale Disasters and Countermeasures, (2) Broaden Our Horizons for Disaster Data Linkage in SFDRR Implementation: Application of GLIDE (GLobal IDEntifier Number), and (3) The Provision of Information via Satellite for Disasters and Crisis Management. ACDR2022 also included a special session related to the "100th Anniversary of the Great Kanto Earthquake" for the discussion of these issues. In this special session, speakers reported on the process of recovery from the Great Kanto Earthquake in the metropolitan area of Japan and made recommendations for better DRR activities in Asian countries. Also, participants attended the Japan International Public-Private Association for Disaster Risk Reduction (JIPAD) seminar hosted by the Cabinet Office of Japan and a JICA-sponsored session at the World BOSAI Forum. On the last day of ACDR2022, participants visited the Yuriage area of Natori City in order to learn about recovery efforts following the Great East Japan Earthquake.
(2023/03/20 15:00)
6 - 10 March 2023 (Kobe, Japan)

From 6 to 10 March 2023, ADRC conducted the JICA Knowledge Co-Creation Program (KCCP) "LEP2.0 Enhancement of the Disaster Risk Management Capacity of Malaysia's National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA)" aimed at the realization of disaster-resilient society in Malaysia by improving the technology and coordination capacity of NADMA, Malaysian National Disaster Management Agency. A total of 15 people from NADMA and related organizations participated in the first training of this program which ADRC has been cooperating with.

The first day of the training consisted of training orientation, presentations by the participants from each organization to introduce about their country and point out their current issues, and discussions to confirm the training objectives and points to see at each site they will be visiting. From the second day onwards, they energetically visited several flood and sediment affected sites to see their disaster countermeasures. The participants enthusiastically observed the countermeasures put in actual use, and exchanged opinions. On the final day, the course was concluded with the reports on what they learned in the training.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the related organizations who gave lectures and allowed us to visit them during this training. We appreciate your continued support and cooperation.
(2023/03/17 15:00)
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)

28 December 2022 to 22 February 2023 (kobe,japan hybrid with online)
Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) conducted a JICA Knowledge Co-Creation Program "Comprehensive Disaster Risk Reduction" from 28 December 2022 to 22 February 2023, with the cooperation of JICA Kansai.

It was conducted in a hybrid format, with both online and in-person programs in Japan. It was attended by eight government officials from six countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

This course aims to help participants learn how to formulate and implement local DRR plans to promote disaster reduction measures in each country. Participants studied disaster countermeasures for their target cities by attending lectures, site visits, and participating in exercises on formulating a draft local DRR plan. They all participated enthusiastically in the programs, engaging in discussions with other participants and deepening their understanding of the subject matter.

ADRC would like to express its sincerest gratitude to all the supporting organizations and lecturers for their cooperation in conducting this course.
(2023/03/01 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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