On Oct. 17, Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric D. Hargan gave a lecture at Fukushima Medical University to about 140 second-year students studying at the university’s School of Medicine.
Deputy Secretary Hargan visited Fukushima to check on the status of the area’s recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake and the nuclear accident. He toured the TEPCO Decommissioning Archive Center in Tomioka Town and the Ogawara reconstruction housing complex in Okuma Town.
Hargan’s talk at the university was titled “Health & Emergency Preparedness and Response: Lessons Learned for the Future” and in it he touched on Japan-U.S. collaboration at times of emergency, lessons learned from the past, and his thoughts for the future.
Reflecting on the response staged after Hurricane Katrina struck the U.S. in 2005, he said, “We learned the need to plan for disasters and respond to them appropriately.”
Regarding Fukushima’s reconstruction from the 2011 disaster, Hargan said, “I see this as an excellent example of resilience. New Orleans, which was hit by Katrina, has not recovered completely, but the people are encouraged by Fukushima’s reconstruction.”
After giving his talk, Hargan was taken on a tour of Fukushima Medical University by students.