Govt teams up with private sector to export Japan’s disaster-prevention technology

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The Yomiuri ShimbunThe government will enhance cooperation with private companies to expand exports of disaster-related technologies and infrastructure.

It plans to set up a new public-private liaison group, called Japan International Public-Private Association for Disaster Risk Reduction (JIPAD), later this month to promote the latest technologies developed by Japanese companies, such as earthquake and tsunami observation and civil engineering, aiming at contributing to disaster prevention in developing countries and also helping Japanese companies grow.

JIPAD, established by the Cabinet Office, will hold its first meeting in Tokyo on Aug. 23. The association is calling on companies and organizations in a wide range of industries, including civil engineering, construction and telecommunications, to join the meeting.

The government, together with JIPAD member companies, plans to hold public-private seminars at home and abroad on disaster prevention that target foreign government officials in charge of disaster prevention to advertise Japan’s disaster-prevention technology.

Asia, Africa and Latin America are envisaged as export destinations, and seminars will be held for African countries in Tokyo in autumn and for several Latin American countries before the end of the year.

The government is focusing on public-private partnerships for infrastructure exports. The Japan Bosai Platform (JBP) was formed in 2014 under the initiative of the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry with the participation of about 100 companies and organizations. The general incorporated association engages mainly in exports in such fields as construction and civil engineering.

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In addition to those fields, JIPAD aims to collectively export technology and equipment from various industries, including information and communications technology and disaster prevention know-how. To a country suffering from flood damage, for example, JIPAD will propose a system to automatically monitor water levels, a communication system to send warnings to regions concerned and support to create hazard maps that indicate areas at risk.

The government also plans to export technologies in fields where they are needed, such as measures against ground liquefaction at airports, state-of-the-art weather radars, and earthquake-resistance techniques for buildings, bridges and port facilities.

“Disaster prevention technology in disaster-prone Japan has something of an international brand power,” a Cabinet Office official said.

The government will also consider using official development assistance (ODA) to help financially weak countries.

Japan’s infrastructure exports, including those related to disaster prevention, stood at about ¥21 trillion in 2016, but the government has set a goal of increasing them to about ¥30 trillion in 2020. The government’s growth strategy, adopted at a Cabinet meeting in June, includes the promotion of infrastructure exports.Speech

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