ARISE Japan hosted its eighth ARISE Japan Public Symposium, together with co-host, UNDRR Kobe, on 8 March 2023. The event, titled ARISE Japan Public Symposium 2023 - Investment into disaster resilience: the many forms of private sector DRR engagement, drew attention to the two key forms of investment into disaster resilience found among the private sector.
Mr. Masato Takamatsu, Lead, ARISE Japan (Tourism Resilience Japan), opened the session, pledging positive action by ARISE and ARISE Japan as the private sector alliance towards the realization of Sendai Framework goals. Participants then viewed a video message by Ms. Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction, who discussed the important phase of Sendai Framework implementation, its mid-term review, in a warm message to ARISE Japan.
The event featured a keynote by Dr. Satoru Nishikawa, Nagoya University, followed by a presentation of five case studies representing the two forms of investment into DRR by the private sector. Dr. Nishikawa covered both the history of private sector and DRR as well as practical tips, such as “the more useful questions to ask are ‘how many days of disruption can my business realistically endure’ and ‘how many days will this investment shorten that disruption’ when making that investment decision”.
The first two case studies discussed investments that are part of businesses’ own management strategy, to strengthen resilience of its business continuity, assets, and facilities. Mr. Morikazu Abe from the Akemi District DRR Communication Council (Denso Toyohashi Plant) described how a neighborhood council of a coastal industrial zone played a central role in coordinating businesses located in the zone, companies in neighboring areas, local government and utility and infrastructure providers into a collaborative DRR model, in order to ensure systematic cooperation during emergencies, and to invigorate the area itself. Ms. Kana Fujiwara from Fujiwara Techno-Art Co., Ltd. discussed the journey of a SME in a non-disaster-prone area, who, over a very short period, evolved into a role model for resilience that took advantage of third-party certification and engaged all their employees and management in preparedness activities.
Two ARISE member companies then discussed investments towards innovating, developing and providing products and services that contribute to resilience of society at large. Ms. Aya Kitabeppu, BRICK’s Corporation, discussed how their investment communications and information services geared towards assisting foreign nationals during times of disaster began from a bottom-up suggestion from staff, and grew into a key business offering. Ms. Noriko Ohnuma, Japan Conservation Engineers & Co., described how they support local governments in individual evacuation planning for citizens requiring assistance during evacuations, following a regulatory amendment in 2020 requiring such planning at the local government level.
The fifth case study, given by Mr. Satoshi Hijikata of Kokusai Kogyo Co., Ltd. and ARISE Board member, discussed investment into resilience from the viewpoint of the chief executive. “The most important thing is to ensure that everyone in your company harbors a desire to contribute to society, by engaging in DRR. It is important to cultivate this mentality, and ensure it survives as the DNA of the company” Mr. Hijikata said.
In her wrap-up remarks, Ms. Yuki Matsuoka, Head, UNDRR Kobe tied the concept of business continuity planning that is not point-based, but area-based, by Dr. Nishikawa in his keynote, and the case study of such an approach from the Akemi District, and noted “this is a new approach to business continuity where Japan can lead the world, and I hope that ARISE Japan will be able to share the evolution of this approach, as well as its dissemination as an idea.” She called for those present to take advantage of the Sendai Framework Voluntary Commitments online platform (https://sendaicommitments.undrr.org), to disseminate their good practices among DRR practitioners and stakeholders.
Fittingly for an event held on International Women’s Day, the eighth annual Symposium, attended by over 50 participants in-person and online, marked the first for ARISE Japan with true gender parity of its panelists.
Event page (including the full report of this symposium):
ARISE Japan’s SFVC: