UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction


UK - Japan Symposium and Workshop on Disasters

8 January 2014

21-23 November 2013

Hosted by the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR)

With Tohoku University International Research Institute for Disaster Research (IRIDeS)

Supported by the Embassy of Japan in the United Kingdom and the UCL International Office

Final Report

Symposium Report

Session 1: Keynote addresses on building structures resistant to tsunamis and international collaboration in disaster risk reduction

After a Welcome Address from Peter Sammonds, Director of the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, the Symposium began with Keynote addresses from Prof Fumihiko Imamura (Tohoku IRIDeS) and Prof Tiziana Rossetto (UCL EPICentre). Professor Imamura showed how the mega tsunami induced multiple layers of different disasters over a huge region. Professor Rossetto then showed innovative experimental, empirical and analytical approaches to assessing the fragility of buildings to tsunami. Both talks showed the results of collaborative research between UCL and Tohoku Universities, and plans for continuing and strengthening that collaboration. Prof David Alexander (UCL IRDR) spoke about cultural aspects of reconstruction after disasters, with interesting insights on previous decisions and outcomes affect future perceptions and decisions. To conclude this session, Prof Yuichi Ono (Tohoku, IRIDeS) presented his expectations for the next UN World Congress on Disaster Risk Reduction, which will take place in Sendai, the home of Tohoku University, in March 2015.

Attendees of the UK-Japan Symposium on Disasters, hosted by UCL IRDR at UCU Chancellors Hall
Attendees of the UK-Japan Symposium on Disasters, hosted by UCL IRDR at UoL Chancellors Hall

Session 2: Special session to celebrate UCL-Tohoku collaboration.

Concurrent with session 1 of this Symposium, a Memorandum of Understanding between UCL and Tohoku Universities was signed by Professor Michael Arthur, UCL President and Provost, and Professor Satomi Susumu, President of Tohoku University. In this special session, Professor Susumu spoke of the shared vision of UCL and Tohoku Universities. This was followed by pairs of speeches by leading academics from UCL and Tohoku in Life Sciences, Materials Sciences, and Disasters Research. Each pair of speeches spoke of existing collaboration achievements in that field and the future vision for that collaboration.

Professor Satomi Susumu, President of Tohoku University, giving a speech to announce the UCL and Tohoku Memorandum of Understanding
Professor Satomi Susumu, President of Tohoku University, giving a speech to announce the UCL and Tohoku Memorandum of Understanding

Session 3: Keynote addresses on the Science of Great Earthquakes

Keynote addresses on this theme by Prof Shinji Toda of Tohoku University and Prof James Jackson of Cambridge University demonstrated the significant advances in understanding of these great earthquakes arising from UK and Japanese research since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

Session 4: Panel Discussion on fair distribution of risk in disaster reduction.

This panel discussion was chaired by Prof Peter Sammonds of UCL IRDR, with Prof Yuichi Ono and Prof Makoto Okumura of Tohoku IRIDeS and Dr Cassidy Johnson of UCL DPU on the panel. A key theme to arise from this panel discussion was the role of insurance and microinsurance in the distribution of risk.

Panel Discussion at the Uk-Japan Symposium on Disasters
Panel Discussion at the UK-Japan Symposium on Disasters

The full Symposium Programme can be found at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/rdr/events-news-publication/uk-japan-symposium-disasters

Workshop Report

The workshop took place on 22nd and 23rd November. On 22nd November, there were a series of talks, followed by a panel discussion and a poster presentation session with a reception. On 23rd November, there was a smaller discussion workshop, where a smaller number of delegates from UCL and Tohoku Universities worked together towards the specific outcomes of the event, listed below in the “event outcomes” section.

Research Presentation at the UK-Japan Workshop on Disaster Research
Research Presentation at the UK-Japan Workshop on Disaster Research
Poster presentations and reception at the Workshop on Disaster Research

The full Workshop Programme can be found at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/rdr/events-news-publication/uk-japan-disaster-risk-reduction-workshop

Event Outcomes

1. Prof Shinji Toda (Tohoku IRIDeS, Japan) and Dr Gordon Ross (UCL IRDR, UK) have set up a joint PhD project on earthquake statistics

2. Prof Tiziana Rossetto and Dr Serge Guillas (UCL, UK) are setting up a European network with Prof Imamura (Tohoku IRIDeS)

3. UCL researchers to join Tohoku IRIDeS field mission to the Philippines, following the recent cyclone.

4. Tohoku University to host UCL researchers in November 2014 to prepare for the UN Hyogo Framework for Action meeting in Sendai in 2015 and to further their research collaboration.

5. Dr Ilan Kelman (UCL IRDR), Prof Hiroaki and Dr Rui Nouchi (Tohoku IRIDeS) are developing a new agenda setting framework and specific projects for linking health science research and disaster risk reduction research.

6. Prof Yuichi Ono (Tohoku IRIDeS), Dr Ilan Kelman and Dr Simon Day (UCL IRDR) are working together on grant applications for warning system research.

Workshop Participants
Workshop Participants

Symposium Speakers

Prof Peter Sammonds, UCL IRDR

Prof Fumihiko Imamura, Tohoku University IRIDeS

Prof Tiziana Rossetto, UCL EPICentre

Prof David Alexander, UCL IRDR

Prof Yuichi Ono, Tohoku University IRIDeS

Prof Susumi Satomi, Tohoku University

Prof Toshio Iijima, Tohoku University Neuroscience

Prof Shin-Ichi Ohnuma, UCL Neuroscience

Prof Motoko Kotani, Tohoku University Materials Science

Prof Alexander Shluger, UCL CMMP

Prof Shinji Toda, Tohoku University IRIDeS

Prof James Jackson, University of Cambridge Earth Sciences

Prof Makoto Okumura, Tohoku University IRIDeS

Dr Cassidy Johnson, UCL DPU

Workshop Speakers

Prof Masato Motosaka, Tohoku University IRIDeS

Dr Robert Muir Wood, RMS

Dr Katsu Goda, Bristol University Cabot Institute

Dr Tom Mitchell, UCL Earth Sciences

Prof Akiro Mano, Tohoku University IRIDeS

Dr Anawat Suppasri, Tohoku University IRIDeS

Dr Serge Guillas, UCL Statistical Sciences

Prof Dave Tappin, BGS and UCL

Prof Hiroaki Tomita, Tohoku University IRIDeS

Dr Rui Nouchi, Tohoku University IRIDeS

Prof Masahito Takahashi, Yamaguchi University

Dr Simon Day, UCL IRDR

Dr Kanako Iuchi, Tohoku University IRIDeS

Dr Carina Fearnley, Aberystwyth University DGES