On May 21st, the 65th Flood Fighting Drill took place in the Tonegawa River basin in Toride, Ibaraki Prefecture. This is an annual event organized by MLIT and riparian municipalities along the Tonegawa River, with the aim of handing down Japan’s traditional flood prevention techniques and raising awareness of flood prevention. Based on the lessons learnt from the Kinugawa River flooding caused by heavy rains in the Kanto-Tohoku region last September, a series of practical training sessions took place. These included river patrols during times of flooding, information transmission, flood fighting methods, and rescue and evacuation.
The JWF organized the Flood Fighting Drill Tour 2016 for officials from embassies and international organizations in Tokyo, with the aim of conveying our experiences and the knowledge learnt from various disasters to the rest of the world . Officials from thirteen countries participated, including the Charge d’ Affairs of the Syrian Arab Republic.
In the exhibition area, the JWF operated a booth in order for visitors and participants to learn about the current situation regarding water around the world. We offered a quiz on water with the aim of raising public awareness. The JWF intends to provide information about Japan’s traditional flood fighting techniques and the establishment of disaster prevention systems based on public-private partnerships. Transmitting Japanese knowhow to the world, the JWF continues to help enhance flood prevention capabilities throughout the world.
Outline of the 65th Flood Fighting Drill in the Tonegawa River Basin
|Date||Saturday, 21 May 2016|
|Venue||City of Toride, Ibaraki Prefecture|
|Organizers||MLIT; Ibaraki, Saitama, Chiba, Tochigi, Gunma, and Kanagawa Prefectural Governments; City of Toride|
|Outline of the Drill||Opening ceremony|
Flood Fighting Drill 1st half
Flood Fighting Drill 2nd half
|Number of participants||Approx. 14,000, including guests and visitors|
Summary of the Flood Fighting Drill Tour 2016 for Embassy Officials
In the first part of the tour, drills were conducted under the scenario of a heavy rainfall similar in size to the Kanto-Tohoku Heavy Rains of September, 2015. From the warning issued just before the disaster to the evacuation order because of the risk of flooding, the drills were carried out with a feeling of real tension. Participants were impressed by the carefully thought-out communication system.
The second part consisted of training in rescue and first-aid. Visitors were shown specially customized bikes, amphibious vehicles, helicopters, and special boats. They carried out joint exercises for surveillance, rescue and first-aid. They remarked on the high level of flood prevention methods in Japan, and became aware of the importance of participating in such drills.
After the drill, the group visited Inatoi Pond, which serves to mitigate flood waters. Mr. Oguri, deputy director of the Tonegawa-Jyoryu River Office at the Kanto Regional Development Bureau, MLIT, and Mr. Akiya from the Toride branch office of the Tonegawa-Jyoryu River Office, explained the flood prevention measures taken during the Kanto-Tohoku Rains last September and used a display of pictorial panels and printed materials to emphasize the importance of flood control reservoirs. Some participants were interested in the functioning and construction of flood control reservoirs. Others expressed an interest in introducing similar technology in their own countries.
|Objective||Providing officials from embassies and international organizations in Tokyo with an opportunity to see and take part in flood fighting drills.|
|Agenda||Visiting to the drill site; experience of flood fighting methods, such as making sand bags and learning rope work, observing rescue and first-aid training.|
Visiting to Inatoi Pond.
|Participants||20 officials from 13 countries including the Charge d’ Affairs of the Syrian Arab Republic (participating countries and organizations: Angola, Uganda, Cambodia, Kenya, Zambia, Syria, China, Venezuela, Mexico, Laos, Liberia, Romania, Lesotho, and the World Organization for Animal Health, Regional Representation for Asia and the Pacific )|
|A scene from the study tour (1st half)||Employees of Canon Toride participating in the drill|
|Learning about rope work||Briefing on flood fighting methods|
|Briefing on Inatoi Pond||The Group at Inatoi Pond|
Exhibition Booth 2016
About ten thousand people visited our exhibition booth, including members of fire-fighting teams and other visitors.
The JWF gave a quiz on water to raise awareness at home and abroad. We had about 170 participants. Some commented that the display had made them interested in water, and some said that they wanted to know more about water issues in Japan and around the world.
|Visitors considering a question on water||Scene from the booth|
|Explaining a panel||Officials participating in the study tour|