The Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will be held in Sendai for five days from today. The conference will draft a new framework to succeed the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), which was adopted at the second conference in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture.

As the chairperson of the conference and the minister of state for disaster management in the host country, I will dedicate myself to conclude the conference with successful outcomes that will lead to further mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction.

The Great East Japan Earthquake four years ago devastated the coastal area of the Tohoku region, with massive tsunami following huge quakes, causing enormous damage. The conference will be held in Sendai, one of the cities hit by the earthquake.

This means that the conference offers a very important opportunity for Japan to share with the world the know-how and technologies on disaster risk reduction acquired through our experience with the Great East Japan Earthquake and other disasters, as well as to inform people in the world of the status of reconstruction from the earthquake and the reconstruction measures Japan is taking.

The conference is slated to have more than 5,000 participants, including political leaders, state ministers and representatives of international organizations from all over the world. Related side events to be held simultaneously are expected to attract many more people from Japan and the rest of the world.

While the conference will concentrate on highly specialized subjects, the side events around the conference venue and in neighboring prefectures will offer a variety of symposiums and exhibitions on disaster risk reduction, held by a wide variety of organizations.

In one example of such an event, municipalities hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake will collaborate to create the “Tohoku Reconstruction and Disaster Risk Reduction Pavilion,” which explains facts of the earthquake and the process of reconstruction to the world, at Sendai Mediatheque, in central Sendai.

Also, a “Disaster Risk Reduction Industry Exhibition in Sendai” will be held at Yume Messe Miyagi, displaying Japanese technologies and products on disaster risk reduction, which are useful not only in the event of disasters, but also in non-emergency situations in terms of comfort, economic efficiency and eco-friendliness.

I would like people to visit Sendai to directly learn lessons from the Great East Japan Earthquake and observe the reconstruction processes. For those who do not have time to do so, video streaming of discussions at the conference will be available on the Internet. I invite everyone to visit the conference website.

Additionally, we are planning various events for participants in the conference, such as study tours to disaster-hit areas and excursions to tourist venues in prefectures in the Tohoku region following the conference. I would like them to enjoy the food, cultural heritage and onsen hot springs in Sendai and the rest of Tohoku region, and return to Tohoku even after the conference is over.

While the conference ends in five days, the world needs to accelerate efforts to reduce disaster risks by complying with the agreement to be made at the conference. I would like everyone to take an interest in disaster risk reduction and cooperate in reducing disaster damage in the world.

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