"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction in Tohoku ~Joint Endeavors for Solutions: Wisdom of the World to the Disaster-Affected Areas, Lessons of the Disaster-Affected Areas to the World~ Closing Remarks by Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Closing Ceremony

[Place] Sendai City
[Date] July 4th, 2012
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am grateful to every one of you for making very substantial discussions in the past two days. My appreciation goes to all those who rendered their support to make this Conference a success, not in the least to the co-hosts, relevant organizations, prefectures of Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima as well as Cities of Sendai, Ishinomaki, Ichinoseki and Fukushima.

Representatives from Governments, international organizations, local governments, private companies and civil society gathered at this Conference. The fruitful deliberations were the manifestation of deep interest in and high expectations for disaster reduction. Side events ended with a huge success. I myself had opportunities to visit the events yesterday and today. I thank every person concerned.

I learned quite a lot through this Conference. The outcome of this Conference is in front of you in the form of Chair's Summary. The Summary was made under the responsibility of this Chair and calls for the following among others:

(1) Mainstreaming disaster reduction and building resilient societies,

(2) Achieving human security putting human dignity at the center and paying due consideration for children, the elderly, disadvantaged persons, women and other vulnerable groups,

(3) Maximizing disaster reduction capability through appropriately combining structural ("hard") measures such as infrastructure and ICT and non-structural ("soft") measures such as education,

(4) Forging partnership among various stakeholders, transcending sectoral differences, as it was pointed out today for the need to create the "society without walls",

(5) Addressing emerging issues such as climate change and urbanization, and

(6) Eyeing on year 2015 and beyond, incorporating disaster reduction in a post-2015 development framework as well as establishing a truly effective "post-Hyogo Framework for Action," based on Hyogo Framework for Action and also on the major findings of this Conference I cited above, considering the paradigm shift after the Great East Japan Earthquake as speakers pointed out in this Conference.

Hereby, we would like to send our message for "Disaster Reduction in the 21st Century" from Tohoku to the world with these main elements.

It was a great success that these points were shared as a fundamental course of international efforts in disaster reduction. When people share concrete goals and visions, tremendous energy is unleashed. I am confident that building resilient societies and mainstreaming disaster reduction will be a guiding post for the international community and our efforts and cooperation to that end will swell and proceed.

Japan is determined to continue our leading role. Japan commits to contributing three billion dollars for three years starting in 2013 to lead mainstreaming disaster reduction in development and international cooperation and building resilient societies. Based on the outcome of the two-day discussions, we will make assistance which increases comprehensive disaster reduction capability of developing countries by effectively combining structural and non-structural measures. For instance, Japan will help countries from the stage of establishing master plans for urban planning based on sound risk assessment. Besides establishing early warning systems, Japan will ensure that relevant information is actually delivered to inhabitants by using digital terrestrial television broadcasting and other technologies. We would like to help achieving our goals with sophisticated disaster reduction technologies of Japan.

Japan will lead international efforts to mainstream disaster reduction towards year 2015. Japan is willing to make active contributions to discussions on a post-2015 development framework, including the incorporation of disaster reduction in it.

As Minister Nakagawa stated, Japan expressed our intention to host the third UN World Conference on Disaster Reduction in 2015. Japan will make utmost efforts to establish an effective post-Hyogo Framework for Action while supporting the leadership of the UNISDR and closely cooperating with international organizations, such as the UNDP and the World Bank, which have both mandates and resources.

Now, we have successfully embarked on substantial discussions aiming toward a broad framework which will govern international efforts toward disaster reduction in our century. I urge you here at this hall to make best use of our accomplishments of the past two days in your engagement in the international discussions. I once again thank the cooperation of every person at this hall. I declare that we will make best efforts together to mainstream disaster reduction and build resilient societies. With that determination, I conclude this Conference. Thank you very much for your cooperation.