Ideas and Action for a Better India
In the wake of the massive destruction caused by the recent earthquake and the ensuing tsunami that struck Japan earlier last month, Japan has emerged stronger, resilient, and undefeated with an unshakeable spirit. This tragedy has captured the attention of the international community and nations all across the globe have recognized the urgent need to revisit their disaster management strategies. This catastrophe has elucidated some of the key characteristics intrinsic to the country and culture particularly the remarkable determination with which the Japanese people and the government have responded to the calamity. There is much that India and Mumbai can learn from this unmatched example Japan has set in building a ‘Safe and Resilient’ nation. Under the aegis of the recent initiative on ‘Good Governance’ by ORF Mumbai, and as a first step towards our project on Disaster Risk Reduction, ORF Mumbai organized a special lecture by the Ambassador of Japan to India, H.E. Mr. Akitaka Saiki on ‘Conquering the Calamity; How Japan Rose to the Challenge’.
The event began with a moment of silence as a mark of respect and expression of unity and support to the victims of this calamity. A brief video exemplified the relentless spirit of the Japanese people and set the tone for the event. Preceding the talk by His Excellency, the Chairman of ORF Mumbai, Mr. Sudheendra Kulkarni in his welcome address contextualized the extent of this destruction with a quote from Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Naoto Kan who said, “In the 65 years after the end of World War II, this is the toughest and the most difficult crisis for Japan.” He also emphasized the point that this calamity not only drew support and sympathy for Japan but awe and admiration at the courage of the people. He shared a personal moment with the Ambassador where he asked, “What is the secret behind the remarkable resilience of the Japanese people?” and the Ambassador replied: “It is in our DNA.” With this positive thought, Elizabeth Cheeran, Research Fellow at ORF, highlighted ten things that we in India could learn from Japan… (More)