The Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, has long been affected by many earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions,
floods, and typhoons. Every year, these areas suffer various kinds of damage caused by natural disasters. A report by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction(UNISDR), indicated that 75% of the death toll from natural
disasters between 1970 and 2011 occurred in the Asia-Pacific region. It also pointed out that Asia is the most
vulnerable region in the world against disasters. Being located in the trans-Pacific earthquake zone, which experiences frequent typhoons, is one of the causes of huge loss of life after disasters. One important feature of this
region is that most Asian cities are highly populated and many people live near the sea or rivers. Most of the Asian
countries are still emerging nations, so outbreaks of disasters could exacerbate poverty.
Meanwhile, after experiencing the Great East Japan Earthquake, Japan is also facing challenges in reducing risk
from disasters. Since March 11, 2011, the Japanese government has received offers of aid from 163 countries
and regions, and 43 international organizations. However, they were not utilized effectively because local governments
that should have functioned as disaster response hubs were affected and thus failed to identify the true needs of disaster victims. Issues involving mutual coordination among various groups, including the central government,
non-governmental organizations, companies, and the Self-Defense Forces, were also highlighted.
In order to tackle such challenges, Civic Force established the “Asia Pacific Alliance” (APADM) in 2012 together with
organizations involved in disaster aid activities in the Asian region. The Alliance aims to bridge the government and
local authorities of a country with companies and NGOs through borderless cooperation. If all parties share and
utilize information, human resources, capital and goods among various countries on the same footing, aid could be
provided faster in times of disasters.
Over the years, as we accumulated experience in disaster aid, we have emphasized the necessity of structuring the
cooperation mechanism among organizations. We are now making efforts to strengthen this cooperative framework in
preparation for natural disasters which have become more frequent in recent years. In regard to the said activities, much progress had been made in the month of May. This month, the 39th Monthly Report focuses on the 2nd general assembly of the Asia Pacific Alliance, the international symposium, and a training program for junior officers involved in disaster management in Asian countries.
Please find the attachment for the further information. Attachments: