Commemorating five years since the Great East Japan Earthquake (Conference on March 8, 2015)


Expert panel at upcoming conference to explore bilateral response to the 3/11 triple disaster and consider lessons learned in disaster prevention and response

WASHINGTON, DC — On March 11, 2011, the most powerful earthquake and tsunami ever to have hit Japanstruck off the coast of the Tohoku region. The disaster killed more than 15,000 people and contributed to the meltdown of nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

To commemorate the fifth anniversary of this “3-11” triple disaster, Sasakawa USA and the U.S.-Japan Council will co-host a full-day discussion in Washington, DC on March 8 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Army and Navy Club on Farragut Square (901 17th Street NW) to reflect on the consequences of the earthquake and the bilateral response to it. This is the only high-level commemorative event being hosted in the United States.

“The heartbreak and devastation felt by Japan in this disaster were met with a tremendous response from all over Japan and an outpouring of support as the world came to their aid,” said Sasakawa USA Chairman and CEO Admiral Dennis Blair, who will speak at the event. “The tragedy was saved from being any worse by the heroism of those in the disaster area, the outpouring of their fellow countrymen, and assistance from Japan’s strongest ally, the United States. Our conference will not only remember those who perished, were injured or suffered great loss, but it also will remember those who came to their aid as we look for ways to learn from such a catastrophe and move forward with improved plans for disaster prevention and response.”

The conference will include panel discussions with more than 20 American and Japanese experts and officials who were involved in various aspects of the recovery. Panel topics will include recollections of the disaster by those who were present, a look at the initial response, details on the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown, and lessons learned on disaster prevention and response.

“On this fifth year commemoration, we renew our commitment to continue our investment in the young people of Tohoku,” said Irene Hirano Inouye, President of the U.S.-Japan Council. “We are honored to be part of this conference, to present how the two countries cooperated for a swift response to the Great East Japan Earthquake, how we can continue to support the Tohoku region through the TOMODACHI Initiative and other efforts, and how the United States and Japan can collaborate for disaster prevention.”

Highlighted speakers include a luncheon address from the Honorable John Roos, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, and a keynote address from Mr. Goshi Hosono, the former Japanese Minister for the Restoration from and Prevention of Nuclear Accidents.

Seating is limited. Click here for more details and to RSVP. A simulcast of the event will be available for viewing here.


For more information please contact:

Congressional and Media Relations Manager
Jessica Santana
(202) 296-6694 ext. 109