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The Embassy of Japan wishes to join the world in marking the “International Day for Disaster Reduction” on October 13, 2012. The theme of “Disaster Reduction” holds great significance for the Government and People of Japan due to the severe impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011. This unprecedented earthquake and tsunami devastated wide areas of East Japan and occasioned severe losses. In the 19 months that have since passed, Japan has been making steady progress in its recovery efforts.

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Twenty-three disaster managers from ten Caribbean countries, including three from the Virgin Islands, have completed a one-week course in leadership and strategic planning for disaster risk reduction at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College’s Centre for Applied Marine Studies, Paraquita Bay. The course was conducted from 26-30 March.

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One of the more highly anticipated sessions of the 6thCaribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Managementtook place this morning at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad. This session, which was moderated by Andrew Johnson of the Government Information Services Limited, featured a dynamic presentation by Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General on Disaster Risk Reduction and remarks from Dr. Simon Young, Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Fund; Honourable Adriel Brathwaite, Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Barbados; Honourable Mark Brown, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Cook Islands; Honourable Collin Partap, Minister in the Ministry of National Security; and Jeremy Collymore, Executive Director of CDEMA.

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The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency joins the rest of the world in celebrating International Day for Disaster Reduction. This year the call is made to “Step up – for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)” and to have children and youth more involved as partners in DRR. International statistics estimate that 66.5 million children are affected annually, and the special vulnerability of children in disasters is well recognized.

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