Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett says Japan is among the most resilient nations in the world, based on its unprecedented recovery system, after being struck by one of the worst Typhoons in their nation’s recent history.
“Japan has a sound record of bouncing back quickly and building back better, from a series of disruptions, notably the 2011 earthquake, major fires and mega-typhoons including the latest No 19 Hagibis. They are deserving of emulation and greater international recognition for being one of the most resilient nations in the world,” said Minister Bartlett.
The Minister made this statement during a tour of the typhoon-affected areas of Ichihara, Chiba, alongside the city’s Mayor, Mr. Joji Koide and other key officials. The tour highlighted elements of the extraordinary relief operations undertaken and the cutting-edge technologies utilised (including drones and robots).
Chief among these, was a one-of-a-kind, multi-purpose, fire truck called Scrum Force, which has a state-of-the-art rescue and relief equipment and facilities, as well as a surveillance software integrated with drone technology and capacity. The technology behind the Scrum Force allows users to have coverage that is more expansive. This includes monitoring and responding to disasters at unprecedented speeds.
“I am very impressed with the highly-technologically advanced nature of the special fire truck. I believe it has the life-saving potential for Caribbean islands focussed on building resilience against natural disasters,” said the Minister.
The Tourism Minister called on the Mayor to not only document his town’s highly effective recovery and resilience mechanism, but to also consider paying a visit to Jamaica, to share best practices on disaster risk reduction and management with the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), in the spirit of deepened cooperation and friendship between Jamaica and Japan.
“The world has much to learn from Japan… It is important that we strengthen our relationship with Japan in this regard, by developing Memorandum of Understanding between the University of the West Indies and the International University of Japan, on resilience practices in keeping with the objectives of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre we have housed in Jamaica,” said the Minister.
In registering his deep appreciation for the Minister’s and Jamaica’s solidarity with Ichihara and the wider Japanese society, the Mayor welcomed the opportunity for greater cooperation on disaster risk reduction and management, given his Town’s similar focus.
The Mayor also indicated his interest in having further dialogue with the Minister on potential partnership and participation in the GTRCMC.