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The Republic of China (Taiwan) and Japan Jointly Promote Disaster Prevention and Fulfill Sustainable Development Goals


The Republic of China (Taiwan) and Japan Disaster Risk Reduction and Education Practical Experience Exchange Forum

The Republic of China (Taiwan) and Japan have had close cooperation and exchanges on Disaster Risk Reduction and Education (DRRE) over a long period of time. As a continuation of these long-standing activities, the Ministry of Education and the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association jointly implemented the “The Republic of China (Taiwan) and Japan Disaster Risk Reduction and Education Practical Experience Exchange Forum” at the National Central Library on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Official representatives, scholars and experts, and front-line educators from both sides, with plentiful experience and contributions to DRRE and reconstruction after disasters, were invited to share integrated strategies of international DRRE and the practical promotion experiences of disaster recovery after the 10th anniversary of the 311 Great East Japan Earthquake. Through international trends and case-sharing, the forum sought to acquire experience and explore more pragmatic and innovative possible future directions.

Liu Wenhui, Deputy Director of the Department of Information and Technology Education of the Ministry of Education, indicated in the forum that from the 921 Earthquake in Taiwan (1999) to the 311 Great East Japan Earthquake (2011), both the R.O.C. (Taiwan) and Japan have had long-term close exchanges in disaster prevention and reduction promotion, mutual assistance after disasters, and reconstruction support, which are evidence of the profound friendship between the two nations. In recent years, DRRE interaction between the two nations has become more frequent. Through the 2019 “20th Anniversary of the 921 Earthquake Disaster Reconstruction and Disaster Risk Reduction and Education Exchange Forum between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Japan”, the “Disaster Risk Reduction and Education Visit to Miyagiken, Japan by the Ministry of Education” and the 2020 “First Disaster Prevention Youth International Leadership Camp'', cooperation and exchanges between the two nations in disaster prevention education have continued to be deepened. Despite the severe impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), “The Republic of China (Taiwan) and Japan Disaster Risk Reduction and Education Practical Experience Exchange Forum” was held as usual this year, which shows the importance of exchange and cooperation for both parties. In the future, both R.O.C. (Taiwan) and Japan, by building on this existing foundation, will continue to promote constructive dialogue on the direction of future DRRE.

The two main themes of this forum were "DRRE Strategies Responding to DRR (Disaster Risk Reduction) and SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)-Sustainable Development Goals and Sendai Disaster Risk Reduction Program" and "Recovery and Reconstruction After Severe Disaster of the Schools in R.O.C. (Taiwan) and Japan". The two major themes explored the combination of international disaster prevention and risk reduction and sustainable development trends, as well as the recovery and reconstruction of schools after severe disasters respectively.

Regarding the theme of “DRRE Strategies Responding to DRR and SDGs”, Professor Aiko Sakurai, from the International Research Institute of Disaster Science, Tohoku University, Japan, explored the "Relationship between SDGs and the Sendai Disaster Reduction Program-Constructing campus DRRE from SDGs”; Seiji Suwa, a project professor at the Graduate School of Disaster Resilience and Governance, University of Hyogo, Japan, shared "Japan DRRE-Learning from Disaster Experiences"; Professor Wang Jiju from the Department of Architecture, Ming Chuan University, provided R.O.C. (Taiwan) experiences and future directions in "Integrating SDGs, CCA (Climate Change Adaptation) and the DRRE promotion of DRR". He discussed the R.O.C. (Taiwan) and Japan’s DRRE promotion policies and international trends as well as their discussions on several topics which formed the basis for their communication.

Regarding the recovery and reconstruction of schools after severe disasters, Senior Director of Utatsu Junior High School, Minamisanriku Town, Japan, Kouji Satou, took as his theme "How to fulfill ‘DRRE’ in disaster areas as a junior high school teacher", sharing his experiences of promoting front-line DRRE after the 311 Great East Japan Earthquake; Principal Xu Yingjie, Taihe Primary School, Meishan Township, Chiayi County shared his own experience of "the recent situations and reflections of school promotion of DRRE after the windstorm Morakot"; Iwata Takayoshi, a project professor at Shizuoka University, Japan, explored the "Japan DRRE Promotion Experience" through schools’ recovery and reconstruction after severe disasters, as well as disaster resilience, and DRRE promotion.

The DRRE capabilities of the R.O.C. (Taiwan) and Japan have been enhanced through the abundant communication between both parties and the participants in this forum, with the brainstorming of different aspects and levels of international disaster prevention and reduction promotion trends, disaster management and DRRE strategies, disaster experiences and recovery and reconstruction of schools, and the psychological trauma caused by disasters. Under the global climate crisis, importing disaster risk awareness, coexisting with disasters, enhancing disaster resilience abilities and integrating disaster prevention into daily life become a part of life education.

Due to the severe COVID-19 epidemic, participants from Japan participated in this forum through video and recordings. Related epidemic prevention measures were also properly implemented to ensure the safe attendance of all participants.