Japan eyes global tsunami summit for high school students


Japan is planning to hold a summit of high school students from around the world to discuss lessons learned from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, a senior ruling party lawmaker said at the U.N. headquarters Tuesday during a visit to New York.

“If we can raise children’s awareness, it would surely lead to the prevention and mitigation of disasters in the future,” Toshihiro Nikai, chairman of the General Council of the Liberal Democratic Party, said at one of the meetings held in commemoration of designating Nov. 5 as World Tsunami Awareness Day.

Many U.N. ambassadors and other participants expressed their support, while Nikai conveyed his appreciation to envoys from Chile, the Philippines and other countries and U.N. General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft, who have all cooperated with Japan on the designation.

According to a source close to Nikai, the summit is scheduled to be held in late November with more than 100 high school students invited from around the world.

Planned venues include a disaster-stricken area in northeastern Japan, Wakayama Prefecture, and the town of Kuroshio in Shikoku’s Kochi Prefecture, which is implementing anti-tsunami measures against a possible Nankai Trough earthquake, the source said.

Japan played a leading role in the designation of World Tsunami Awareness Day, for which Nikai had lobbied at home and abroad.