Report from the "Tsunami Preparedness Talk Show in Marunouchi" event, held November 5, 2015 (Thursday)

A talk session on the subject of tsunami preparedness held by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Minister Taro Kono, and an expert

The "Tsunami Preparedness Talk Show in Marunouchi" was held at MARUCUBE in the Tokyo Maru-Building on November 5 to mark World Tsunami Awareness Day. At this event, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Minister Taro Kono discussed disaster preparedness with an expert in the field.

On this day, the event was attended by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Minister of State for Disaster Management Taro Kono, who took time from their busy official schedules to discuss tsunami preparedness with Fumihiko Imamura, a professor at Tohoku University and expert in the field of tsunami preparedness.

Talk Session Part 1

About World Tsunami Awareness Day

The speakers described the story of "The Fire of Inamura (Rice Sheaves)" which occurred at the time of the Ansei Nankai Earthquake in 1854, and which is the reason that November 5 was chosen as the date for World Tsunami Awareness Day. They also introduced the background of the law that was established to minimize tsunami damage following the great loss of human life due to tsunami following the Great East Japan earthquake.

Key points for tsunami preparedness

An educational video (90 second version) was shown, in which Funassyi, Kumamon, and Ossan provide an easy to understand lesson about tsunami preparedness.

[Key points]
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When a tsunami occurs, each person should evacuate immediately and as quickly as possible.
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Decide with your family where you will escape to.

It is important to check for evacuation sites located close to your home and workplace, discuss them carefully with your family, and then for each individual to do everything possible to evacuate and protect his or her own life when a tsunami occurs. Everyone can then reunite with their families after the danger of tsunami has ended. Everyone should confirm and discuss this plan with their families.

Minister Kono described the formation of the Tsunami Bosai Promotion Squad to ensure widespread understanding of the correct evacuation process, and the educational activities it is engaged in. He also explained the tsunami evacuation exercises that are being conducted in each region around the time of World Tsunami Awareness Day, and told listeners that this information was available on the Tsunami Bosai Promotion Squad website.

Prime Minister Abe explained, "What is most important in order to protect your life from a tsunami is to trust that when a large earthquake occurs, all of your family members are taking the same action that you are, and evacuate immediately to high ground. For this purpose, it is important to regularly discuss with your families what you will do and where you will evacuate to in the event of a tsunami." He then described the importance of obtaining correct information, and suggested that everyone use World Tsunami Awareness Day as an opportunity to think about tsunami preparedness and prepare for action that will save their lives.

International cooperation in the disaster management field, and steps toward creation of World Tsunami Awareness Day

Because the threat of tsunamis affects not only Japan, and tsunamis such as those following the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake have caused great damage around the world, Prime Minister Abe said that as the UN Disaster Reduction Worldwide Conference will be held in March of this year, he had announced the "Sendai Cooperation Initiative for Disaster Risk Reduction", pledging international cooperation in the field of disaster management with 4 billion dollars of international aid and training of 40,000 personnel over the next 4 years . He also described his ambition of working to establish November 5 as World Tsunami Awareness Day in order to save as many people as possible from tsunamis around the world.

Appearance of the Tsunami Bosai Promotion Squad core members and the "Tsunami Evacuation Pose"!

During the second half of the talk session, the ministers described the educational activities being conducted across Japan by the Tsunami Bosai Promotion Squad.

Funassyi, Kumamon, and the rest of the 5 core members rushed onto the scene to report on the activities of the Tsunami Bosai Promotion Squad. The audience was delighted when they demonstrated the "Tsunami Evacuation Pose" together with Prime Minister Abe, Minister Kono, and Professor Imamura.

Part 2: Announcement of new Tsunami Bosai Promotion Squad members & introduction of programs in each area

During the second half of the event after the departure of Prime Minister Abe and Minister Kono, the new members of the Tsunami Bosai Promotion Squad were introduced.

While introducing the new members of the Tsunami Bosai Promotion Squad that are increasing across Japan, new members Gachapin and Mukku (Be Ponkickies characters), Maruken (Marunouchi-Kentei image character), and Go-chan (TV Asahi mascot character) appeared on the stage and were welcomed to the squad. All nine characters, including the new arrivals, together demonstrated the "Tsunami Evacuation Pose".

Finally, with Funassyi representing the core members, and Gachapin and Mukku representing the new members, they concluded the event by declaring their intentions to continue with the educational activities of the Tsunami Bosai Promotion Squad.