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Past Event

Mitigating Natural Disasters, Promoting Development: The Sendai Dialogue and Disaster Risk Management in Asia

The Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011 (3/11) had both immediate and long-term consequences. Over 20,000 people lost their lives in the triple disaster, hundreds of thousands were displaced and the economic costs were the highest ever to result from a natural disaster. Since the disaster, however, both Japan and the international community have sought to learn from this tragedy by drawing lessons for preventing, responding to, and rebuilding after natural disasters. Specifically, the Government of Japan and the World Bank launched the Sendai Dialogue in October 2012 as a way to re-conceptualize the role of disaster risk management (DRM) in development strategies, emphasizing the importance of building resilience against natural disasters.

On May 10, the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies and the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement co-hosted a discussion featuring experts on natural disasters and disaster risk management from the United States and Asia. Panelists representing the private, public, and international sectors sought to refine some of the topics considered at the Sendai Dialogue. They identified the lessons learned from 3/11; how these lessons can be applied to overseas economic assistance programs, focusing on DRM; the specific challenges of disaster risk management among Asian countries; and how DRM can be integrated and mainstreamed into development assistance across different platforms.


Panel 2: Challenges of Disaster Risk Management in Asia and the Transferability of Japan’s Best Practices


James Fleming

Asia, Latin America, and Europe Division Director, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance - USAID


Megumi Muto

Deputy Director General, Southeast Asia and Pacific Department - JICA


Rebecca Scheurer

Director, Red Cross/Red Crescent Global Disaster Preparedness Center - American Red Cross/IFRC


Panel 1: Lessons from 3/11


Daniel Aldrich

Fulbright Research Professor, University of Tokyo - Associate Professor, Purdue University


Leo Bosner

Fellow - International Institute of Global Resilience


Randy Martin

Director for Partnership Development, East Asia - Mercy Corps


Naoki Shiratsuchi

Director, National Disaster Management Division - Japanese Red Cross Society

Lunch Address

Panel 3: Strategies for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Development Assistance


Yoshiki Hiruma

Director, Enterprise Resilience Rated Loan Program - Development Bank of Japan, Inc.


Hiroshi Minami

Deputy Director General for Global Issues - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Japan)


Angelika Planitz

Advisor, Disasters & Governance, Disaster Risk Reduction Team, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery - UNDP


Stewart James

Alternate Executive Director for the United Kingdom - World Bank

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