First round of the Japan-NATO Joint Study Group on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (overview)
On July 9, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Japan Ministry of Defense (JMOD) held the first round of the Japan-NATO Joint Study Group on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief with NATO at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels.
The first round of the study group was attended by Hideaki Kuramitsu, Director of European Policy Division, MOFA; Hirohisa Mori, Director of International Security Policy Office, JMOD; Manabu Mannami, Director of International Operations Division, JMOD; Hiromichi Otsuka, Deputy Head, Defense and International Policy Planning Division, Joint Staff (Colonel of Air Self-Defense Force), JMOD; Makoto Toyoda, Chief of International Cooperation Office, Joint Staff (Colonel of Ground Self-Defense Force), JMOD; Francesca Tardioli, Ambassador, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Plans in the Operations Division of NATO's International Secretariat; Burcu San, Head of the Civil Military Planning Support Section, NATO; Guenter Bretschneider, Head of the Civil Emergency Planning Outreach Section in the Operations Division & Head of the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordinator Centre (EADRCC), NATO; Evert G. J. Somer, Project Officer for the Cooperation Programmes of NATO Civil Emergency Planning as well as some members from the International Military Staff (IMS) and Political Affairs and Security Policy Division at the director level.
The study group was launched as part of decisions made during the recent visit of NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to Japan in April 2013. During the visit, the NATO Secretary General and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed a Joint Political Declaration which spelled out areas where bilateral cooperation can be increased, such as crisis management and disaster relief. Following the development, this study group shared experiences and lessons learned from humanitarian and disaster relief practices between Japan and NATO and looked at possibilities of future cooperation in this field.
* NATO was established by 12 members in 1949 to defend allied nations. The organization has now 28 allies in North America and Europe. Japan is one of the Partners across the globe together with South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Iraq, Afghanistan, Mongolia, and Pakistan.