神戸大学大学院国際協力研究科 復旦大学国際関係・公共事務学院 高麗大学校国際大学院

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Risk Management Seminar - “Mega Earthquakes”

  On October 8, 2013 and October 15, 2013, the CAMPUS Asia Program hosted risk management seminars about Mega Earthquakes by Professor Yasuo Tanaka, Emeritus Professor of Kobe University and Brunsfield Professor at University of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia. These two day lectures were delivered for the class of Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy for Mega Earthquake at GSICS, Kobe University.

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  In the first lecture entitled “International Comparison of Mega Earthquakes”, Professor Yasuo Tanaka talked about the changes occurred in disaster risk management from 20th to 21st century, the role and significance of Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015, the history of disaster management in Japan and shared his further thoughts on post HFA after 2015. In order to narrow the gap between the scientific advances in disaster study and the society’s natural disaster preparedness, International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) – 1990 - 1999 was proposed by earthquake scientists and engineers, and then approved by UN. Its mid-term review was done at 1st United Nation World Conference on Disaster Reduction (UNWCDR) in Yokohama, Japan in 1994 and later modified to focus on pro-active disaster reduction rather than emergency responses. Moreover, not only natural disaster but also man-made disaster was agreed to be included in “disaster” category. Later the HFA 2005-2015, Global disaster risk reduction framework, was endorsed during the 2nd WCDR in Kobe, Japan in 2005. It emphasized the more holistic approach and importance of pro-active disaster risk reduction. Japanese disaster management national policy started in 1961, however, after 1995 Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, Japan also shifted towards disaster risk reduction than disaster prevention.
  In the second lecture entitled “The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and the Great East Japan Earthquake and their mechanisms”, he discussed about more of earthquake itself such as the types, characteristics, assessment mechanism of earthquake and the major lessons learned from previous major earthquakes occurred in Japan such as the Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake and the Great East Japan Earthquake. For instance, it was learned, during 1995 Kobe Earthquake, that while there was poor coordination among emergency response organizations and poor support system for disaster victims, during 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, there was weak functioning of local municipality government, and delays in emergency responses or supports.
  He concluded his lecture by emphasizing the importance of communication domestically as well as internationally in reducing disaster risk and vulnerability. Efficient exchange of information on disaster risk management and lessons learned from previous experiences should be reinforced among different communities at domestic level and different countries at international level.
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