Over many years, Australia and Japan have developed mutually beneficial trade, investment and diplomatic links which has seen the bilateral relationship grow in importance to both countries. This is particularly true for Queensland with Japan being Queensland’s largest export market and largest overall trading partner. In recent times, both Japan and Australia have witnessed large scale natural disasters. From the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan to the Victorian bushfires and flooding in Queensland, natural disaster response and emergency management has become a key feature of management and cooperation between countries in the Asia Pacific region.
These events have a significant impact on the countries and people affected. The consequences of such disasters flow beyond borders and cannot be dealt with by one country alone. With the impact of climate change, we can expect to see an increase in natural disasters necessitating a need for thorough response and recovery measures to mitigate the humanitarian and economic impact on societies. Both Queensland’s response to the 2011 floods and Japan’s response to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami highlight the importance and benefit of disaster preparedness and recovery planning. Building on these experiences, the Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith University hosted a bilateral dialogue on how best to address the challenges associated with disaster management and resilience.
The dialogue were held over 2 days in Tokyo (November 30th and December 1st ) with the support of Trade and Investment Queensland. They successfully brought together participants from across government, industry, NGOs and academia from both Australia and Japan. The aim of the dialogue was to establish a formal platform to share information and experiences between the two countries and how best we can improve cooperation and practice in this area.