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Indonesia and Japan on Monday held their second meeting of a joint committee on improving Indonesia’s disaster management and establishing a tsunami early warning system.

Topics included a plan to establish a building code for quake-resistant buildings and infrastructure, a flood and flash-flood warning system, and efforts to raise public awareness of disaster prevention.

Tetsuo Kutsukake, the minister in charge of disaster management, said there are some similarities between Indonesia and Japan in relation to earthquakes and tsunami.

“The most important thing is to increase people’s awareness about disaster prevention, and it needs cooperation between the government and the people,” Kutsukake said.

Indonesian Research and Technology Minister Kusmayanto Kadiman said he hopes Japan can help in building Indonesia’s tsunami early warning system.

“We hope Japan can help build the system across southern coastal areas of Java Island,” said Kusmayanto said, adding that the system is expected to be established by 2008.

The meeting was headed by Indonesian Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare Aburizal Bakrie, and was attended by Information Minister Sofyan Jalil and other related agencies, including the Meteorological and Geophysics Agency.

The first meeting was held in Tokyo in January.

Indonesia, with more than 17,000 islands, is prone to earthquakes.

Last week, a tsunami hit the southern coastal areas of the provinces of West Java, Central Java and Yogyakarta, killing more than 600 people.

In December 2004, a powerful earthquake and subsequent tsunami killed about 200,000 people in Aceh Province and tens of thousands in Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and other areas around the Indian Ocean.

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