WBF 2017 Report

Message from World Bosai Forum Committee Chairperson

The World Bosai Forum/IDRC 2017 in Sendai has finished with a big success, thanks to various contributions from the session organizers, exhibitors, poster and flash-talk presenters, invited speakers, and other participants including local citizens.

More than 900 registered participants from over 40 countries and regions – many more if we include the public audience to the Forum sessions – have gathered at the Forum. Many of the Forum participants also participated in the study tours and excursions to learn about and experience the areas affected by the 2011 Tohoku disaster. Including the visitors to the related events (Bosai Kokutai – National Conference on Promoting Disaster Risk Reduction 2017, and 2017 Bosai Industry Fair in Sendai), the total number of visitors was approximately 11,200 during the four days!

In the Forum, we have shared the findings and experiences about the 2011 Tohoku disaster, and discussed practical solutions and new international attempts toward "Bosai" for promoting the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. It was encouraging to see various contributions in diverse topics from different backgrounds, including those from citizens and the young generation and discussions on dissemination of culture.

I deeply thank all the participants and supporters who contributed to create the Forum to be a fruitful occasion toward disaster risk reduction.

Fumihiko Imamura
World Bosai Forum Committee Chairperson

Chair's Summary

In the closing session of the Forum, Chair's Summary was presented. It summarized the discussion and conclusions of the sessions held during the four days, along with the future perspectives. It contains three sections for Science and Technology, Policy and Finance, and Society and Culture, and also mentions key items of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction such as "build back better" and development of a "risk culture".

World Bosai Survey

The World Bosai Survey aims to illuminate attitudes towards disaster risk reduction of both bosai specialists and citizens, asking questions in relation with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, 2015-2030. We believe that a survey of this kind would be the first trial at the global level.


Pre-WBF Festival:"Learning from the disaster, bridging to the future" held in partnership with the Science Agora

Looking back at the path from the Great East Japan Earthquake, people from the younger generation in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures gave presentations on their Bosai activities in the first part of the festival. The presentations were followed by a panel discussion including experience and knowledge gained from the Kobe Earthquake in 1995 and views from Kuroshio Town, Kochi Prefecture, which is preparing for the anticipated Nankai Trough Earthquake. In the second part of the festival, we had a Tiger Dance of Namiita, a folk art performance in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, one of the disaster-affected areas, to express our gratitude for the support we received from within and outside of Japan at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The subsequent "Wish for Recovery" Concert consisted of performances by the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra members and NHK Childrens' Choir. Involving the audience, we sang together "Hana wa Saku" (Flowers Will Bloom) to conclude this festival. Recognizing the importance of cultural aspects of Bosai, the Pre-WBF festival aimed to pass down the disaster experiences to the future and to the world. The festival made a deep impression on the audience.

  • Part One Message from the Young Generation

  • Part Two Sendai Bosai Cultural Festival


Opening Sessions

The WBF - Bosai Kokutai joint opening session raised expectations for creating new value through making the best out of the opportunity for collaborating. In the subsequent Forum opening session, speeches were made by high school and university students who are living despite the hardship toward the future after having lost their loved family members. Touching on their experiences, they talked about their determination for the future. Dr. Robert Glasser, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, gave remarks of acknowledgement for Japan's commitment and leadership in disaster risk reduction, and expectations for the Forum to be one of the key global platform conferences in this field.

  • WBF - Bosai Kokutai joint opening

  • WBF opening

Meeting Sessions

We held 49 meeting sessions including 16 free open sessions and 33 general sessions. Bosai was proactively discussed among participants from a broad range of perspectives.


Poster presentations

A total of 93 posters were presented. The topics varied from research findings related to disaster risk reduction to practical efforts for disaster risk reduction in industries and others. During the core time, presenters held active discussions with attendees in the poster area located on the foyer on the 3rd floor. The Poster Awards, sponsored by Fuji Technology Press LTD, were granted to the following posters.

Best Poster Award

Choon Yong Heng
"Doomsday Rehearsal: Architecture for Pre-Disaster Education and 2020 Tokyo Olympics The Year of Disaster Prevention Global Classroom"

Poster Award

Erick Mas and Daniel Felsenstein
"Dynamic Integrated Model for Disaster Management and Socio-Economic Analysis (DIM2SEA) - A Japan-Israel Project"
Giriraj Amarnath, Shuhei Yoshimoto; Vladimir Smakhtin and Pramod Aggarwal
"Mapping Multiple Climate-related Hazards in South Asia"
Kwanchai Pakoksung, Anawat Suppasri, Panon Latcharote, Abdul Muhari, Fumihiko Imamura, Ke Lin, Priza Kayestha, Koji Yamamoto and Shigeko Tabuchi
"Global tsunami risk assessment: Industry-academic collaboration under Willis Research Network (WRN)"
Andreas Nikolaus Küppers, Martin Hammitzsch & the ARISTOTLE Project Team
"ARISTOTLE & The EU Civil Protection Mechanism"
Giriraj Amarnath, Karthikeyan Matheswaran, Niranga Alahacoon, Ravinder Malik, Pramod Aggarwal and Alok Sikka
"Investing in Disaster Resilience: Risk Transfer through Flood Insurance in South Asia"


The following 12 organizations/groups presented their activities at their exhibition booths.

  • General Incorporated Association, Japan Vending Machine Practical Social Contribution Association
  • Journal of Disaster Research
  • The Iwate Nippo Co., Ltd.
  • Weathernews Inc.
  • Elsevier
  • Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
  • International Research Institute of Disaster Science, Tohoku University
  • Student Exchange Division, Tohoku University
  • City of Sendai
  • Global Alliance of Disaster Research Institutes (GADRI)

Flash Talk Presentations

A total of 27 presentations were given by researchers, high school and university students, companies and citizens. They each discussed various disaster-related topics in 12 minutes. The area used for the flash talk presentations was close to a free open space, which prompted Forum participants to stop by and hear the presentations. The presentations were video-recorded and are scheduled to be posted online.

Study tours and Excursions

Sendai City organized study tours and excursions for the Forum participants in partnership with Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures. The tours provided the participants with an opportunity to learn about the progress in rebuilding from the disaster and people's efforts for disaster risk reduction in Sendai City and surrounding areas. Through excursions, the participants not only learned the current status of reconstruction but also experienced the diverse charm of the Tohoku region such as its nature, history and food. The study tours and excursions were attended by 171 people from 30 countries and regions.

  • S5 Sendai Arahama Elementary School

  • C Naraha Remote Technology Development Center

Summary of study tours

Dates Courses Main destinations The number of participants
26th S1 Sendai Arahama Elementary School ~ Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center 18
27th S2 Sendai Arahama Elementary School ~ Sendai Tobu Road tsunami evacuation stairs 13
S3 Minami-Gamo wastewater treatment plant ~ Tsunami evacuation tower ~ KIRIN Beer Sendai Brewery 23
S4 Millennium Hope Hills in Iwanuma city ~ Yuriage, Natori city ~ Sendai Arahama Elementary School ~ Moroya Farm Kitchen 14
28th S5 Kaigan Park Arahama area ~ Sendai Arahama Elementary School ~ Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center 34
  Countries and regions of the participants*
Philippines (16), Iran (13), USA (9), China (7), Thailand (6), Taiwan (5), Cambodia (4), Germany (4), Indonesia (4). 
102 participants from 28 countries and regions

*The numbers in the brackets show the number of participants from each country.

Summary of excursions

Dates Courses Main destinations The number of participants
28th ~ 29th Course A
Iwate Prefecture Course
Tono City Archives Museum of Logistical Support, Stay at Houraikan (Japanese style inn), Sanriku railway "Disaster Education Train," Miracle Pine at Rikuzen-Takata, World Heritage Hiraizumi Chuson-Ji Temple 18
Course B
Miyagi Prefecture Course
Minamisanriku-cho Disaster Prevention Agency office site, Miyamisanriku-cho town hall (Talk by Mr. Sato, the Mayor of the town), Stay at Minami Sanriku Hotel Kanyo, Learn about the progress in reconstruction of Ishinomaki City, Matsushima (Godaido and Zuiganji temples) 22
Course C
Fukushima Prefecture Course
Joban expressway, Naraha Remote Technology Development Center, Stay at Spa Resort Hawaiians, Learn about the progress in reconstruction of Iwaki City, Aquamarine Fukushima (Aquarium) 14
Course D
Aomori Prefecture Course
Hachinohe Hakatabune (Japanese style boat), Hachinohe Yatai Mura, Miroku Yokocho (Food stall village), Morning market at Mutsu-Minato station, Kabushima, Tanesashi coast 15
  Countries and regions of the participants*
Iran (14), Thailand (8), Indonesia (7), China (6), Germany (5), Australia (3), France (3), Mexico (3), Taiwan (3), Turkey (3), United Kingdom (3).
69 participants from 19 countries and regions

*The numbers in the brackets show the number of participants from each country.


The report in PDF format includes detailed information about the Forum.