In October of this year, we will hold a high school student summit on "World Tsunami Awareness Day" in Niigata Prefecture.
"World Tsunami Awareness Day" on November 5 was proposed by Japan at the United Nations General Assembly in December 2015, and was unanimously adopted and enacted. With this as an opportunity, from 2016, high school students from around the world have been holding high school summits on "World Tsunami Awareness Day" to learn about the threat of tsunamis and how to deal with them. will be held.
During this time, large-scale natural disasters have occurred in various parts of the world, causing major obstacles. Therefore, it can be said that reducing vulnerability to disasters and mitigating damage is one of the important tasks of the international community.
In the 1964 Niigata earthquake that occurred in this prefecture, tsunami and liquefaction caused enormous damage in coastal areas and inland areas below sea level. Also, in the 2004 Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake, precious lives were lost due to large-scale sediment disasters that occurred in hilly and mountainous areas. While we experienced a lot of sorrow and suffering due to the disaster, mutual help and "bonds" became the sustenance of recovery and reconstruction.
In order to discuss these lessons with the countries of Oceania and Asia at this summit, and to make use of them for disaster prevention and mitigation in each country, we must ensure that the memories of disasters that caused great damage do not fade away. We need to pass on our experiences and lessons to the next generation.
To this end, high school students participating in this summit from all over the world and from all over Japan will learn about disaster prevention, mitigation, and reconstruction as future disaster prevention leaders responsible for building national resilience, and at the same time further strengthen ties with countries around the world. I look forward to working with you in the future.
"World Tsunami Awareness Day" High School Students Summit is a great opportunity for high school students from all over the world, who will lead the next generation, to learn about the threat of earthquakes and tsunamis, and deepen their "bonds" by thinking and discussing how disaster prevention, mitigation, and reconstruction should be done together. It is a meaningful initiative.
Initially, it was scheduled to be held in this prefecture in the second year of Reiwa, but due to the influence of the new coronavirus infection, it was postponed for two years and will be held in October this year. This time, about 180 domestic high school students and international students will gather in Niigata Prefecture and connect with about 80 overseas high school students online.
Fifty-eight students from 16 high schools in Niigata Prefecture will participate in the event, serving as chairpersons and moderators of the summit, as well as performing marching band, dance, traditional performing arts, and calligraphy performances as attractions.
The summit will be held under the theme of “Recovery as Strength, Experiences and Lessons for the World – Disaster Response Learned from the Spirit of Mutual Help Nurtured in Snow Country”. Then, it was divided into three subcommittees: "Understanding disasters and enhancing the ability to survive," "Disaster risk reduction," and "Working together for a better recovery." , we will propose what we can do in the future, summarize it as a declaration, and send it to the world.
I sincerely hope that the participating high school students will deepen their friendship through this summit, learn the importance of protecting lives from disasters, and play an active role as future disaster prevention leaders around the world.
Here in Niigata City, where the Summit will be held, the two major rivers, the Shinano River and Agano River, which flow into the majestic Sea of Japan and the abundant water that flows into it, Fukushima lagoon, Toriyano lagoon, Sagata lagoon, and other waterfront areas where many ecosystems are protected. It has developed over time, receiving the blessings of the rich waterside space and the nature of each season.
While enjoying the blessings of nature, the 1964 Niigata Earthquake hit the coast of the city with a tsunami. It caused 20,000 deaths and caused enormous damage, giving a great shock to countries around the world. It is essential to learn lessons from such past disasters and prepare for natural disasters both in terms of hardware and software.
The “World Tsunami Awareness Day” High School Students Summit aims to deepen the understanding of high school students, who will lead the next generation, on disaster prevention, mitigation, and recovery. It is a very meaningful initiative to think about what should be done. We hope that you will learn a lot about the theme of this year's event, the disaster experienced by Niigata in the snowy country, and the spirit of mutual aid that was nurtured there.
By spreading the results of this summit across national borders and passing them on to the next generation, the world will be more concerned about the threat of natural disasters, including tsunamis. I sincerely hope that your life will be saved.
The "World Tsunami Awareness Day" high school student summit will be held in Niigata City as a place for high school students from around the world to learn about the threat of tsunamis and countermeasures. To use this summit as an opportunity to nurture leaders who can protect people's lives, bodies, and property from disasters and minimize the impact on people's lives and economies, and to further deepen cooperation with countries and regions around the world. I expect
n Niigata City, students learn about the characteristics of natural disasters, the local natural environment, and disaster prevention according to their stage of development so that they can sense the danger themselves and take the initiative in ensuring safety in the event of a disaster, through an "educational vision." We are enhancing disaster prevention education. In addition, Niigata City schools are working to improve their disaster prevention plans while cooperating with local communities according to social and natural conditions and school district conditions.
After the 1964 Niigata Earthquake, a tsunami and liquefaction occurred in Niigata City, causing damage such as the collapse of bridges and apartment buildings, and fires in oil tanks. We believe that it is our responsibility to make use of the memories and lessons learned from those times for disaster prevention without fading.
At this summit, high school students from around the world will discuss regional disaster prevention and the future of the earth, and communicate the threat of tsunamis and the importance of handing down lessons learned to the world. Through this, I hope that efforts to protect lives from natural disasters will progress further, such as by enhancing disaster prevention education in countries around the world.
This "World Tsunami Awareness Day" high school student summit will be the fifth summit in three years since the 2019 Hokkaido summit. Based on the past four summits, what should be learned and what should be communicated? We hope that this will be a place for high school students from all over the world to think and communicate to the international community.
One of the themes of this summit is “recovery”. “Kizuna” is essential for “recovery”. As the chairperson, I will do my best to deepen the bonds between us high school students, who will be responsible for society in the future, and to have fruitful discussions.
While Niigata Prefecture enjoys the rich blessings of nature, particularly in terms of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, it has also suffered from numerous natural disasters due to its geographical location. However, each time, people united and achieved reconstruction through the spirit of helping each other. Know the past and connect to the future. In order to make this summit the first step toward that end, we will discuss overcoming languages and nationalities.
We will stand on the summit stage as representatives of each country. Let's cooperate with each other and be a good leader and a good caller.
We look forward to seeing you all in October.
For the first time in three years, the High School Students Summit on World Tsunami Awareness Day was finally able to be held by allowing overseas high school students to participate online.
A major theme of this year's summit is how we can make use of the experiences and lessons we have learned so far without fading the memory of the disaster. Niigata has experienced many natural disasters such as the Niigata and Chuetsu earthquakes in the past, and floods and snow damage occur almost every year. How did the affected people endure and help each other to recover? We, high school students, must learn as a generation to shoulder the future of the earth, where disasters are increasing due to climate change.
This summit is a valuable opportunity for high school students from all over Japan and around the world to express their ideas and share their ideas. In order to have a meaningful summit, the world must have a common understanding of disasters and move toward the same goals. I hope that this summit will motivate the leaders of the world and create an opportunity for new disaster risk reduction leaders to shoulder the future of the earth together.
In a world where disasters are increasing, I hope that bastions of life for those affected will be built around the world. By all means, learn about disaster prevention, mitigation, and reconstruction on your own, and spread the circle of disaster prevention around the world.