Disaster management ministers from Japan, China and South Korea agreed Wednesday to strengthen cooperation on promoting a U.N. action plan adopted in March to respond to emergencies.
At a meeting held in Tokyo, Taro Kono, Japan's minister for disaster management, Dou Yupei, China's vice minister of civil affairs, and Lee Sung Ho, South Korea's deputy minister of public safety and security, signed a joint statement vowing enhanced ties to promote the 15-year action plan.
An outcome of the U.N. World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, the plan incorporates seven global goals that are aimed at substantially reducing the human and economic cost of disasters worldwide by 2030.
The Sendai framework also vows to enhance support for disaster-prone developing economies and increase the number of countries that have disaster risk reduction strategies and early warning systems.
"The three countries have been affected by similar natural disasters including earthquakes, tsunamis and typhoons," Kono said, expressing hope that the Asian neighbors will enhance their ties by sharing past experiences.
Dou responded by saying that cooperation among the countries could enhance the ability to deal with natural calamities, while Lee said the firm relationship will enable the three countries to help each other during emergencies.
The trilateral meeting of the heads of government disaster management agencies has been held every two years since 2009, with the previous gathering taking place in Seoul in 2013.