In March, IIGR’s Director of Training, Education, and Research, Leo Bosner, traveled to Japan to speak at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai (Miyagi Prefecture), where he also spoke to regional office staff of the East Nippon Expressway Company (NEXCO). Leo’s discussions at these venues focused on the need for a well-organized system for emergency response.
NEXCO has taken on a key role in disaster preparedness in Japan by preparing highway rest areas to be used as disaster staging areas in the event of a major earthquake or similar disaster. Leo was able to visit one of these highway rest areas to see their emergency preparations. He also visited some of the sites of the 2011 disaster to see efforts in Miyagi Prefecture to recover from the tsunami and mitigate against future tsunami losses.
Back in Tokyo again, Leo visited the office of Diet Member Shunsuke Mutai, who has been a leading advocate for strengthening Japan’s emergency management system. Leo presented Mr. Mutai with a copy of IIGR’s guidebook on the Incident Command System (ICS), and Leo in turn was presented with a copy of Mr. Mutai’s book on disaster management in Japan and lessons from the March 11, 2011 triple disaster.
IIGR continues in our efforts to support emergency preparedness in Japan and other countries.