At the 2013 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva, a Japanese newspaper article stated “Nuclear will not be on the agenda of World Conference in 2015.” Someone was trying to advocate for this and the Japanese government’s stance was the same as this headline. They stated that the Hyogo Framework for Action should deal with natural disasters and not human-made disasters such as the one in Fukushima in 2011.
Since then, CWS Japan has led the creation of an advocacy network in Japan called the Japan CSO Coalition for 2015WCDRR (JCC2015) along with Peace Boat and the Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation. The network has almost 100 member agencies/networks now and is the biggest advocacy network in Japan working on disaster risk reduction global policy.
JCC2015 has outreach to Geneva, New York and Bangkok and also to most major Japanese cities, where advocacy for addressing nuclear risks in disaster risk reduction models is strong. Some Japanese Parliamentarians support this aim, so pressure on the Japanese government for this issue has come from various angles.
The Japanese Minister for State for Disaster Management, who will chair the 2015 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, has now publicly agreed that the nuclear issue will, in fact, be addressed during that Conference.
This complete turnaround from the Japanese government is an achievement for civil society advocacy – in Japan and worldwide, thanks in no small part to CWS initiative and drive in Japan.
By Takeshi Komino, country representative, CWS Japan