NGO calls on Japan, U.S. to up humanitarian aid role

Kyodo

A U.S.-based nongovernmental organization is calling on Japan and the United States to strengthen the security alliance by improving their humanitarian assistance capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region.

Peace Winds America released a report Thursday covering a two-year examination of how prepared the two nations are for dealing with disasters throughout Asia, including lessons learned from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

“About 50 percent of global natural disasters happen in the Asia-Pacific, and people turn to Japan for help and also to the U.S.,” Charles Aanenson, chief executive officer of the NGO, said during a news conference Thursday.

The report, based on a civilian-military initiative developed by the NGO, stresses the need to include NGOs and businesses in government planning so strong relationships can be built in advance of disasters.

The initiative included Japanese, U.S. and South Korean defense authorities, aid coordination agencies, private-sector companies and think tanks.