• Kyodo

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Crown Prince Naruhito called on Wednesday for international cooperation in reducing risks of water-related disasters.

“Collaboration by the international community is expected to deliver the benefits of science and technology to every corner of the world, especially to people suffering from poverty,” he said in a speech at the U.N. Special Thematic Session on Water and Disasters.

Citing examples from Japan, the prince, known as an expert on water issues, underscored that controlling water resources has long benefited human lives.

“The social and economic development of medieval Japan was closely related to the development of water networks,” he said, adding, “I was deeply impressed by the process through which people’s aspirations about water were turned into reality by their wisdom and efforts.”

He also highlighted a Tokyo sewage treatment plant that can temporarily handle a massive amount of rainwater to prevent flooding.

The United Nations had invited him to attend a series of water-related meetings at its headquarters in New York.

The prince is also scheduled to deliver a speech on Friday at a meeting of the Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation. He has been serving as honorary president of the board since 2007.

“I hope these opportunities are effectively used by many to learn from one another and to galvanize action to solve water problems,” he said.

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