Experts from the EU and Japan discuss humanitarian assistance and emergency relief
EU News 367/2015
4 December 2015
The European Union (EU) and Japan held their first experts' meeting on humanitarian assistance and emergency relief in Tokyo today. The dialogue is a direct follow-up to the commitments taken at the last EU-Japan Summit in May 2015. The EU side was led by Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director of Strategy, Policy and International Cooperation at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection. Satoshi Suzuki, Deputy Director-General of the European Affairs Bureau of Japan's Ministry for Foreign Affairs opened the meeting, with European Policy Division Director Maki Kobayashi serving as co-chair.
The meeting provided an opportunity to exchange experiences and best practices in the area of humanitarian assistance and emergency relief, as well as to strengthen coordination at both the bilateral and multilateral level.
In addition, on 3 December the 4th Technical Meeting on Disaster Management between the EU and officials from Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, as well as other relevant ministries and agencies, took place. The meeting, led on the EU side by Director Fink-Hooijer, and on the Japanese side by Tadashi Kitamura, Director-General of the Water Resources Department of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, served to exchange views on the operational and technical aspects of emergency relief and risk management in the context of the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
It builds on the relationship developed between the European Commission and the respective Japanese authorities following the March 2011 triple disaster in Japan, when the EU provided support to Japanese relief efforts through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and humanitarian channels.
The EU and Japan will continue to strengthen the effectiveness of their bilateral cooperation also with a view to the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016 in Istanbul, which is a unique opportunity to improve the current way of working to better serve people in need.