Admiral Dennis Blair, Sasakawa USA’s Chairman and CEO (left) with Keynote Speaker Goshi Hosono, who was named Minister for the Restoration from and Prevention of Nuclear Accidents (right) (All photos by Joy Asico)
The conference, held in Washington, DC, included panel discussions with American and Japanese experts and officials, most of whom were directly involved in the response to 3-11. 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.
Suzanne Basalla (second from left) spoke on a panel with (from left) Hideki Matsunaga, formerly of Japan Platform, an NGO; Amya Miller; LtGen. Burt Field, former Commander, USFJ; and Dr. Jeffrey Hornung, Fellow for the Security and Foreign Affairs Program at Sasakawa USA
USJC Executive Vice President & COO Suzanne Basalla spoke on a panel about initial reactions and decisions following the disaster. Based on her work as then-Senior Advisor to Ambassador Roos in U.S. Embassy Tokyo, she spoke about how the U.S. government supported Japan.
Ambassador John V. Roos was a featured speaker at the conference, and described the challenge of balancing his top responsibility of protecting the American population in Japan while fulfilling humanitarian needs.
Ambassador Roos shares the challenges he and the U.S. Embassy faced following the disaster
Amya Miller, special advisor to the City of Rikuzentakata, expressed her appreciation for events like this Conference that support the Tohoku region. She also read a letter from Mayor Futoshi Toba of Rikuzentakata, which conveys his appreciation to USJC and SPF USA, echoing his message during the 2015 USJC Annual Conference.
The TOMODACHI Initiative was mentioned often as a strong example of ongoing support for Tohoku.
This was one of many events commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Click here to read SPF USA's full summary and to see video coverage of the event. Click here to see more photos.
The event was broadcast via livestream. You can find footage here.