- On June 2 2005, H.E. Junichiro Koizumi, Prime Minister of Japan, and H.E. Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of the Republic of Indonesia, having witnessed huge losses of lives and properties caused by the Sumatra earthquake and the consequent tsunami in the Indian Ocean on December 26 2004, and recognizing capacity building of natural disaster reduction including earthquakes and tsunami countermeasures as a highly prioritized issue for Indonesia, decided to establish the Joint Committee on Disaster Reduction for strengthening cooperation toward institutional development for natural disaster mitigation and preparedness system in Indonesia. The two leaders also underlined the necessity that Indonesia would swiftly and effectively use Japanese financial contributions for rehabilitation and reconstruction after the earthquake and the consequent tsunami on December 26, 2004.
- The Joint Committee will be co-chaired by H.E. Yoshitaka Murata, the Minister of State for Disaster Management of Japan, and H.E. Alwi Shihab, the Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare of Indonesia / Chief Executive Officer, National Coordinating Board for Disaster Management, and will invite experts from relevant ministries, agencies and institutions of both governments to take part in. The Joint Committee, while sharing vigorous efforts based on bitter experiences of natural disasters in Japan, will review the current state of disaster preparedness in Indonesia; will give guidance toward elaborating a comprehensive and effective system for disaster mitigation and preparedness; and will finally submit a report.
- In the course of fulfilling its mandate, the Joint Committee will fully take into account the following points for consideration, in line with the outcome of the World Conference on Disaster Reduction held in Kobe on January 18-22, 2005:
(1)Japan and Indonesia share geological and geographical similarities and face a similar range of natural disasters, thus expecting high effectiveness and productiveness through close cooperation between two countries in this field, with a wider perspective to contributing to the reduction of disaster vulnerability in Asia;
(2)Effective disaster reduction requires not only the introduction of specific technologies and facilities, but also the following strategic policy undertakings:
(a)To address an entire disaster reduction cycle which includes (i) prevention and mitigation, (ii) preparedness, (iii) emergency response, and (iv) rehabilitation and reconstruction;
(b)To seek, if applicable, (i) establishment of a multi-sectoral coordination mechanism for disaster reduction, (ii) incorporation of disaster reduction into a development planning process, (iii) proper investment in disaster reduction, and (iv) development of information and communication systems for disaster preparedness, including establishment of a tsunami early warning system.
(3)It is essential that all stakeholders, such as national and local governments, media, and local communities assume a sense of responsibility in their respective roles, and mutually cooperate and coordinate their efforts.
- Prime Minister Koizumi has already expressed, in his speech at the Asian-African Summit held in Jakarta on April 22-23, 2005, Japanese intention to provide more than 2.5 billion US dollars over the next five years in assistance for disaster prevention and mitigation, and reconstruction measures in Asia, Africa and other regions. Prime Minister Koizumi indicated that Japan would extend its assistance to Indonesia, working together with other donors, and also suggested that Japan would dispatch a mission to explore the effectiveness of its assistance. President Yudhoyono, on his part, expressing his appreciation to the Japanese assistance which has already been provided bilaterally as well as through international organizations, was committed to work toward the development of the aforementioned comprehensive and effective system for natural disaster reduction.