Sendai UN Disaster Panel: Collaboration Vital Between China Korea Japan

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sendai- (PanOrient News) The UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR in Sendai, March 14-18, attracted civil group speakers from China, South Korea and Japan.

Soka Gakkai International (SGI) co-organized a complimentary event titled "Strengthening Resilience in Northeast Asia through Cooperation for Disaster Risk Reduction" where Chen Feng, Deputy Secretary-General of the intergovernmental Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat, spoke on efforts to strengthen ties between the three countries of China, Korea and Japan in the area of disaster management. His comments pointed out that a disaster in one country would also affect the other two countries.

Young-Jin Park, Secretary-General of Hope Bridge in Korea, stressed the importance of utilizing existing networks for such collaboration within the Asia Pacific region.

Huang Haoming, Vice Chairman of the China Association for NGO Cooperation (CANGO), talked of the challenges of coordination of disaster response within China and suggested ways to increase collaboration within the region, including exchanges of professionals, volunteers and specialist meetings, with a goal of establishing a formal civil society alliance for disaster risk reduction.

Aoi Horiuchi, representing the Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC) and the Japan CSO Coalition for 2015 WCDRR, talked about the experiences gained by JANIC from the Fukushima nuclear accident. This included a booklet aimed at helping people in other countries.

Daisuke Namaki, Representative of Next Stage Tohoku, focused on their efforts to protect Chinese interns working in the marine products industry in the coastal area of Miyagi Prefecture at the time of the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami disaster. He discussed the importance of continuing such international cooperation in the affected area.

Hirotsugu Terasaki, Director of Peace Affairs for SGI, in summing up the event stated, "Our three countries face numerous challenges in the field of political exchange, but precisely for this reason it is crucial for civil society organizations to take the initiative to conduct dialogue and establish cooperative ties that link people at the grassroots."

Co-organizers of the event were the Korea NGO Council for Overseas Development Cooperation (KCOC), CANGO and Next Stage Tohoku. It was supported by the Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC) and the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS).

Soka Gakkai International (SGI), a lay Buddhist association, has a long track record of involvement in post-disaster relief activities throughout Asia, and its extensive network of local members and community centers in the Tohoku region was active in relief efforts following the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011.

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