Disaster Management: Europe and Japan join forces

Japan as seen by Envisat
Credits: ESA

In a recent press release the European Commission announced that Europe and Japan are forging a closer cooperation in Disaster management. Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response and Akihiro Ohta, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan have exchanged letters providing a framework to further enhance EU-Japan cooperation in disaster management.

"Natural Disasters are becoming more intense and more frequent. This makes us all vulnerable. The triple disaster that hit Japan in March 2011 showed that even the best prepared countries can be overwhelmed by the force of nature. We can better meet these challenges by working together. I am convinced that exchanging information and best practices will benefit us both, the EU and Japan," said Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva.

The letters provide the basis for cooperation in a broad spectrum of disaster risk reduction topics, including major natural and man-made disasters related to water, such as floods, droughts, landslides and tsunami. The cooperation will cover preparedness and response to mega-disasters and the integration of climate change adaptation into disaster management policy. The overall objective is to focus on learning from each other's experience.