• JIJI, Kyodo


Two Japanese high school students stressed on Tuesday the importance of sharing lessons learned from past disasters at a panel discussion to mark World Tsunami Awareness Day, held at the U.N. headquarters in New York.

The two students from Sapporo, who experienced a powerful earthquake in September last year, gave a joint speech at the event.

“We must now create a global awareness of the profound effects natural disasters have on families, communities and regions around the world,” said 16-year-old Wataru Kirikoshi, a first-year student at Sapporo Nihon University Senior High School, in the speech, which was delivered in English.

Kirikoshi and Shizuho Ido, 17, a second-year student at Hokkaido Sapporo Intercultural and Technological High School, had jointly chaired a high school student summit, held in Sapporo in September this year, in which students from home and abroad discussed earthquakes and tsunami.

At the panel discussion in New York, on responses to earthquakes and tsunami, the two reported the outcome of the Sapporo summit.

Earlier on Tuesday, they participated in other 2019 World Tsunami Awareness Day events, which were part of the annual campaign to raise awareness of the risk posed by tsunami and the need to build more resilient and inclusive societies.

Kirikoshi said he plans to send disaster prevention-related information from Hokkaido to high school students worldwide using social media. “It’s a small step, but if everyone does the same thing, it will become a big movement,” he said.

“Disasters are not occurring in specific areas, but … may occur around the world. So it is very important to cooperate with people from different countries,” said Ido at one of the events.

“So this summit was a great opportunity to have great relationships with young people around the world,” she added.

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