• Kyodo

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The city of Kumamoto will host an international meeting in 2020 to discuss water security issues in the Asia-Pacific region, the city’s mayor said Monday.

For the gathering of the fourth Asia-Pacific Water Summit, which starts on Oct. 19 next year, the organizer plans to call for the participation of leaders or ministers of 50 countries in the region, according to its secretariat office in Tokyo.

“Kumamoto’s efforts to preserve groundwater are evaluated highly globally,” Kumamoto Mayor Kazufumi Onishi said at a news conference, adding that he hopes the two-day meeting will be an opportunity to show local efforts to restore the region in the aftermath of big earthquakes that hit the city in April 2016.

Delegates from the countries and international organizations to be invited will likely discuss various topics such as climate change, rain water harvesting, urban water supply and waste water management.

Kumamoto will be the second Japanese city to host the international meeting, after Beppu in Oita Prefecture, where its first gathering was held in 2007 with Crown Prince Naruhito in attendance.

The second summit took place in Chiang Mai in Thailand in 2013, and the third one was held in 2017 in Yangon. The organizing body, the Asia-Pacific Water Forum, began operations in 2006.

At a governing council meeting in Singapore earlier this month, the organizer authorized Kumamoto to host next year’s summit.

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