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Chile and Japan announce cooperation project on tsunami prevention

  • The Chilean Foreign Minister and the Japanese Ambassador in Chile sign agreement to launch project to upgrade technology for the prevention and mitigation of disasters and tsunamis, which involves an investment of over $US 3 million.

As a new sign of the deepening of cooperation between Chile and Japan, the Government of Japan agreed with the Government of Chile to expand its offer of collaboration for Chile’s development, through a project for upgrading technology in the prevention and mitigation of disasters of tsunamis involving funds amounting to US $ 3 million.

This morning, Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno and the Ambassador of Japan to Chile, Wataru Hayashi, signed an agreement formalizing this new step for Japanese cooperation.

“If there’s anything Chile and Japan know about is how to cope with earthquakes,” said Minister Moreno, highlighting the know-how reached by both countries. He then added that “although we are at the antipodes of the world, we share many things, among them, the ability to overcome natural disasters.” Given this common experience, he said: “We could not have asked for a better partner than Japan to undertake joint learning and disseminate it to other countries.”

The Japanese ambassador, in turn, said that “through this project, Chile and Japan will be able to develop safer and more livable countries in the future. I also believe that our ties of friendship and cooperation will continue to grow for the benefit of our peoples.” He then added, “This project responds to the need of learning together to build safer countries.”

This initiative is in addition to the cooperation program that supports Chile’s reconstruction after the 2010 earthquake called “Capacity Building for Seismic Events,” which included technical assistance on anti-seismic structures, the upgrading of the tsunami early warning and evacuation systems, and the improvement of the emergency response capacity to these natural disasters.

The project for the prevention and mitigation of tsunami disasters will have 4-year duration and will be undertaken by the government agencies SHOA and ONEMI, together with universities Católica de Chile, Santa María, Concepción and Valparaiso.

Methodologies for damage assessment, prediction, tsunami warning and a program to train tsunami- resilient communities are expected to be developed by the end of this project.