Sendai welcomes next World Conference on DRR

Sendai City Mayor Emiko Okuyama and Kokusai Kogyo's Chairperson and CEO Sandra Wu, Wen-Hsiu during the opening day plenary of the Global Platform.
 
By Anthony Drummond

GENEVA, 23 May 2013 - Sendai City in Japan has been selected to host the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015. The city of one million people in the northern region of Tohoku was one of the hardest hit zones in the March 2011 Great Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

Announcing the decision today, Parliamentary Secretary, Mr. Yoshitami Kameoka of Japan, said: "We hope that holding the conference in Sendai, one of the cities affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, will provide a significant opportunity for us to share the reconstruction status of the affected areas, and to contribute to the international community by sharing experiences and knowledge of disaster risk reduction obtained through recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake."

Sendai City Mayor Emiko Okuyama said:"I am most honoured to host the next World Conference and Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. I hope it will provide an opportunity for us to share our experiences and lessons learnt from the earthquake/disaster with the international community."

The announcement was well received by the more than 3,000 participants from around the world attending the Fourth Session of the Global Platform which finishes today in Geneva, Switzerland. Participants acknowledged that given Japan's high exposure to natural hazards and its state-of-the-art expertise in addressing them it is particularly well placed to pass on its knowledge to other countries.

Since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, Sendai City has made remarkable progress in recovery and strengthening its resilience both in terms of its infrastructure and its disaster reduction and awareness preparedness.

In March 2012, UNISDR recognized Sendai City as a role model in the Making Cities Resilient Campaign for its success in promoting community-based disaster risk reduction and private-public-academic collaboration on resilience building.

Akira Doi is an Executive Officer with Kokusai Kogyo which is a member of the UNISDR Private Sector Advisory Group and one of the major Japanese companies selected to help implement the Sendai City Earthquake/Tsunami Disaster Reconstruction Plan.

Mr. Doi said: "Sendai City is more resilient than before the 2012 disaster. Our company has contributed to this increased resilience by, for example, launching the Tago-Nishi Eco Model Town Project and securing energy in emergency situations by combining diverse energy sources. This will ensure the continuity of energy supply unlike in 2011 when power outages left people without lighting or heating in very cold weather".

Mayor Okuyama, one of the more than 50 Mayors attending the Global Platform Fourth Session, said she looked forward to welcoming participants in the Fifth Session and to contributing to work on the successor to the Hyogo Framework for Action, which was endorsed by all members of the United Nations after the 2005 tsunasmi in Japan.
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