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National Governors’ Association adopts proposal to seek “creation of disaster prevention ministry”

The National Governors’ Association opened its two-day conference in Sapporo City on July 26. With the torrential rains in western Japan, disaster prevention countermeasures were a main topic. Recognizing that it is critical to make preparations for huge natural disasters such as a major earthquake along the Nankai Trough or a direct-hit earthquake under Tokyo, the governors adopted an emergency proposal to seek the creation of a “disaster prevention ministry” that would coordinate in a centralized fashion all activities from advance countermeasures through recovery and reconstruction.  


The emergency proposal emphasized a sense of impending crisis: “Japan is expected to see a substantial reduction in its population, and it is not impossible that some regions will be annihilated if they suffer serious damage from a major disaster.” Saitama Governor Kiyoshi Ueda, who took office in April as the new president of the National Governors’ Association, stressed the need for radical measures, saying, “Japan has become prone to disasters since the Great East Japan Earthquake.” (Abridged)

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