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VN, Japan renew co-operation on management of disasters

Update: September, 16/2013 - 08:31
Viet Nam and Japan have renewed an agreement for co-operation in disaster management until 2016.— Photo tinmoitruong

HCM CITY (VNS)— Viet Nam and Japan have renewed an agreement for co-operation in disaster management until 2016.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism signed a memorandum of understanding to renew the 2010 deal at a seminar on coping with natural calamities held in Ha Noi last week.

The two ministries will develop a framework for dialogue on tackling natural calamities.

The seminar focused on improving early warning systems against natural disasters and human resources and developing disaster-resilient infrastructure.

Speaking at the conference, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat thanked Japan for its assistance in coping with climate change and strengthening preventative capacity against catastrophes.

He hop Japan, with its extensive experience in disaster management, would continue to assist Viet Nam in this area.

At the seminar, the two sides compared notes on building flood-prevention structures like reservoirs and dykes and discussed the lessons from Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami two years ago.

Experts spoke about managing natural disaster risks, focusing on handling inland drainage and collecting data on natural disasters for early intervention and mitigation.

They said information about disaster prevention and warnings should be provided early to residents to enable them to cope better.

The event was attended by leading Japanese companies that introduced their latest innovations in wireless communications and landslide-prevention technologies.

According to Phat, Viet Nam is one of the countries most vulnerable to natural disasters in Southeast Asia due to its geography and monsoon.

In the last decade the number of people killed and missing in natural calamities has been falling due to the Government's efforts to cope with global warming, he said.

But climate change has created extreme weather, resulting in losses equivalent to 1.5 per cent of the nation's GDP, he added.

The twin disasters in Japan in March 2011 left 18,550 people dead or missing, destroyed 130,000 houses, forced the evacuation of 470,000 people, and caused a total loss of JPY19.9 trillion ($200.3 billion).

Japan received aid worth $1.22 billion from the international community, including $13.9 million from Viet Nam. A similar seminar was held in HCM City on September 11. — VNS



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