On March 11, 2011, the most powerful earthquake ever to have hit Japan struck off the coast of the Tohoku region. As the disaster unfolded, a massive tsunami with waves up to 40 meters in height slammed into the coast, killing more than 15,000 people and complicating matters by contributing to the meltdown of nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
To commemorate the fifth anniversary of the “3-11” triple disaster now known as the Great East Japan Earthquake, Sasakawa USA in coordination with the U.S.-Japan Council hosted a discussion on the disaster and the joint response to it. This conference included panel discussions with American and Japanese experts and officials, with an emphasis on presenting analysis of the actual events on 3-11 and Operation Tomodachi. Panel topics included recollections of the disaster by those present, a look at the initial response, details on the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown, and lessons learned on disaster prevention and response.
Keynote Speaker Goshi Hosono, the former Minister for the Restoration from and Prevention of Nuclear Accidents spoke on “Five Years After 3-11,” and Amb. John Roos, the former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, delivered the luncheon address.
Letter of Thanks
Futoshi Toba, the mayor of the hard-hit city of Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture, wrote a letter of thanks to the U.S.-Japan Council and Sasakawa USA for hosting this event and continuing to support Japan as the country rebuilds. Though Mr. Toba was unable to attend, Ms. Amya L. Miller, Special Advisor of Rikuzentakata, served as a panelist on his behalf, and also read his remarks in the letter. Read the letter here: 日本語：市長スピーチ│English translation
Below is a video archive of the conference, separated by panel.
• James Durand, formerly of Morgan Stanley, Tokyo • Dr. Kamal Ramani, former Tokushukai Disaster Medical Team Physician, Minami Sanriku City • Yukari Sekiguchi, former Lead Anchor, Fukushima Television • Sayaka Gammon, former JET, Fukushima City • Dr. Jeffrey Hornung, Research Fellow, Sasakawa USA • Amya Miller, Special Advisor, City of Rikuzen Takata • LtGen. Burt Field, former Commander, USFJ • Hideki Matsunaga, formerly of Japan Platform, an NGO • LtCol. James Kendall, USMC (ret.), Fellow for Common Challenges, Sasakawa USA; former Liaison Officer to JTF Tohoku • Col.Christopher Coke, USMC, former Chief of Staff, USFJ • Col. Makoto Kasamatsu, JGSDF, former Chief Coordinator at Sendai Airport • Lt. Col. Karl Rohr, USMC (ret.), PhD, former Operations Officer, USFJ (FWD), Sendai • Amb. John Roos, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan • Suzanne Basalla, Executive Vice President and COO, U.S.-Japan Council; former Senior Advisor to Amb. Roos • LtGen. Wallace “Chip” Gregson, USMC (ret.), former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia-Pacific and South Asian Affairs • Gen. Ryoichi Oriki, former Chairman, Joint Staff Office, JGSDF • Chuck Casto, former Deputy Regional Administrator for Construction, Region II, Nuclear Regulatory Commission • Akihisa Shiozaki, Attorney at Law, Risk and Crisis Management/ Compliance, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu • Adm. Dennis Blair, USN (ret.), Chairman and CEO, Sasakawa USA • Goshi Hosono, former Minister for the Restoration from and Prevention of Nuclear Accidents • Dr. Charles Aanenson, CEO, Peace Winds America • LtGen. Noboru Yamaguchi, JGSDF (ret.), former Advisor to the Prime Minister • Timothy Greten, Deputy Director, Technological Hazards Division, FEMA