“Civil Protection Forum 2006” (Summary of proceedings)
- Part 2
Mr. Toshiyuki Shikata: Significance of Self-help and Mutual-help and Concrete Examples
Theme: To Protect Ourselves against Armed Attacks and Terrorism
Mr. Yoshihiro Katayama: Efforts in Tottori prefecture
- Although what caused the damage may be different, ordinary citizens see no difference in their situation whether they suffer from harm by being trapped in a building destroyed by a missile or by an earthquake. In that sense, what is most important for ordinary citizens is to protect their life.
- For example, when I teach students at the university, some students say that it is their own business whether they die or survive. However, when one person dies, it takes four people to carry the body to a shelter, examine the body, take a tooth mark, take a DNA specimen, check a blood type, take a facial portrait with a digital camera, record the clothes, and input all such information into a computer. Your death may be your own business, but it is troublesome to carry out all these tasks when many people need help. If you survive and see your friends lying down in front of you, you will surely help them. You should be careful not to get hurt not only for yourself but also for helping others. This is what self-help means. When I explain in this way, they all understand.
- In really urgent cases such as aerial intrusion or missile attacks, the Prime Minister has granted authority to the Air Defense Commander of the Self Defense Force to take action when certain conditions are met. For other matters, it takes two or three hours to finally confirm the situation. It will take five or six hours for the national government痴 instructions to be handed down through prefectures to municipal mayors who are on-site. Therefore, they need to make efforts to protect residents for the time being without instructions from the top. This Law roughly shows instructions that would be given by the national government and prefectures, and enables municipalities to make a kind of early start in dealing with urgent situations. This is a part of mutual-help.
- When this Law is applied against armed attacks, it will take time for the Self Defense Force to come to protect people. Also when the Kobe earthquake occurred, the Self Defense Force was deployed from far away. Then, those from other prefectures do not know place names appearing in instructions by air. They cannot do anything without the cooperation of local residents. Such cooperation is public-help.
- The Self Defense Force can be expected to have massive internal strength to maintain long-term activities. However, neither self-help nor mutual-help works without the power of individual people that acts like capillaries.
Mr. Harutoshi Fukui: Compelling Force and Peoples・Morals
- Local governments nationwide were expected to make Civil Protection Plans, and Tottori prefecture made much of this opportunity. Usual local governments make their plans based on the model prepared by the national government. Plans can be easily made by only changing the names of places, but such plans are not good for practical use.
- Tottori prefecture makes it a rule to consider and create original plans when required. We have taken such a stance not only when making Civil Protection Plans but also when making various plans in other fields.
- When we depend on given models, we don稚 think on our own. However, we need to use our own brain when we create something original, even though the results are primitive. We can also discover problems in the process of thinking. Furthermore, we can provide our experiences and knowledge based on our on-site activities for the national government, which has no actual field sites. Then, the national government may draw upon these when creating models.
- After making an evacuation plan on our own, we carry out map exercises with the SDF personnel to examine and review it. Such exercises soon show us what are missing. For example, two-track national roads should be used only on one side and another escape route should be secured. Through a trial and error process, our quality is enhanced and cooperation, common understanding, and mutual trust with the Self Defense Force and related organizations are built up. I think that is very important.
- Municipalities are given some time, but those in Tottori prefecture are making an effort to formulate plans as soon as possible. Misasa-cho was the fastest in Japan to complete the plans, and they also created their own original ones. Misasa-cho implemented an evacuation drill with the participation of residents, which was possible because the city had taken the lead in creating Civil Protection Plan.
- For local residents・independent action, local communities, such as neighborhood associations and self disaster-prevention organizations, should have sufficient competence. Whether municipalities can eventually play an essential role depends on whether residents can take swift action jointly by way of each neighborhood association and whether there are suitable leaders.
- Tottori prefecture signed an agreement with the Taiyuu-kai, a society of retired SDF personnel, and ask them to work as a group in this field and play the role of community leaders in individual residential areas, for example by guiding residents when evacuating in emergencies.
Mr. Motomi Inoue: Compelling Force and Binding Force towards People
- The Civil Protection Law is based on the Disaster Measures Basic Law, but has diminished the compelling force of the national government with consideration to the perceptions of the public to some extent.
- When either evacuees or vehicles heading for an afflicted area have to give way, the Law can stipulate that fire engines should given preference. But if the vehicles are tanks, that might arouse controversy. Therefore, compelling force is limited based on that balance.
- It is a matter of basic mutual-help how to foster peoples・attitudes to make decisions on a case-by-case basis and offer cooperation even though the Law does not have compelling force.
- If a person agrees to pull down his house in order to extinguish a fire, the most important thing is how people around him should react. We are apt to think that he is just unlucky, but such a way of thinking will not correct our selfish idea of wanting to avoid becoming the one to suffer a loss. First we should feel an obligation to him and admire his spirit of self-sacrifice. This is a matter of morals, but if we can establish this key point, I think we can manage to resolve almost all problems.
- Japanese people used to have morals, but in these past 50 or 60 years, we seem to have lost any decent morals. Therefore, we should start by teaching elementary school kids that doing something for other people is good.
Ms. Keiko Iiboshi: What I Feel as a Member of Japanese Society
- The Law clearly defines that peoples・cooperation should be based on their voluntary will and should not be compelled, and that the Law does not have compelling force.
- In other countries, such as Sweden, Switzerland, and Korea, people have obligations, with such provisions including ones that males of a certain age group must enter the army to receive training, under the names of civil defense, citizen defense, or civil defense army.
- No obligations are provided for specifically in the Law, but that does not mean that you do not need to do anything. If you see aged people while evacuating, you are expected to give a hand to them, and if there are people lying down in front of you, please help them.
- When a train crash happened in Amagasaki, many people offered their help. Nihon Spindle Manufacturing Co., Ltd., which is located near the accident site, stopped all its operations and more than 150 employees rushed to the rescue with machine tools in hand. A nearby transport company offered a best-cushioned vehicle to transport injured people to nearby hospitals. School teachers came to the rescue with first-aid kits and towels in hand. Wholesalers working at a nearby market rescued injured people bringing out ice and towels from their shops.
- People in Amagasaki had experienced the Kobe earthquake, but most of those volunteering their help said that they did nothing special but acted naturally as they could not simply ignore those injured people. I think most Japanese people have that sort of spirit.
- Although there is no compelling force, it is necessary for everybody to offer their help voluntarily.
Ms. Keiko Iiboshi: Question
- What ordinary people can think of and do for other people in front of them depends on individual experience. We need to educate ourselves to some extent or become accustomed to such situations in our daily life.
- Instructions for people to take certain actions under certain circumstances, for example an instruction to turn off the gas when an earthquake occurs, take time in order to train people to respond automatically.
- Training is important, but before that, I think we should start from an earlier stage, by considering what we should do now.
Mr. Motomi Inoue
- Aren稚 there any other Laws that stipulate the Prime Minister痴 authority to block roads or allow the SDF or the U.S. army to use roads on a priority basis based on his own decision?
Ms. Keiko Iiboshi: Question
- Contingency legislation consists of 10 different laws, among which there is the Specified Public Facilities Use Law. This Law stipulates the Prime Minister痴 authority to comprehensively make adjustments concerning who to give preference to between the SDF and evacuees on highways, or how to use traffic lanes. Of course, the Prime Minister cannot make decisions by himself but only make adjustments based on opinions of local governments.
Mr. Motomi Inoue
- Is it the same with roads, ports and harbors, airports, and communication?
Mr. Yoshihiro Katayama: Significance of Training in Civil Protection
- Of course, it is the same with ports and harbors, airports, and communication.
Mr. Toshiyuki Shikata: Future Situations and Concrete Predicted Cases
- I think it important to define only basic ideas and rules and leave other matters in peoples・hands to let them develop and exercise their applied skills according to individual on-site circumstances.
Mr. Harutoshi Fukui: Concrete Examples of Armed Attacks and Terrorism
- What we now predict as a case where the Civil Protection Law is applied are attacks by nonstate terrorists without any clear negotiating partners or by nations which are beyond our comprehension. These attacks cannot be prevented.
- Terrorism is derived from the word terror, and is often committed not against the Prime Minister痴 Official Residence, but against places which an unspecified majority of people use, such as public transportation facilities, department stores, or underground malls. Survivors often find that they were at the site the day before or would have got involved if they had taken the next train. It usually takes significant time to confirm that it was really a terrorist attack.
- Japan has 55 nuclear power reactors, nearly half of which are located in the areas alongside the Sea of Japan coast. Niigata and Fukui are called the home of nuclear power plants. Furthermore, there are industrial complexes alongside the coast of the Sea of Japan. In geopolitical terms, we need to pay full attention to these coastal areas.
- There may be a low probability of bioterrorism, but once it happens, there is no way to deal with it. Therefore, we need to be most cautious about the possibility of bioterrorism.
- Although the Civil Protection Law is not applied, special care is required for a case where a number of refugees come ashore across the Sea of Japan, as some of them might get aroused to commit violence. They should be taken into custody pursuant to the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act.
- It takes time for the national government to take action in cases where the Civil Protection Law is not applied, so that ordinary residents, such as the local fishermen痴 union, can deal with the situation in the short term, referring to the provisions of the Civil Protection Law.
- When something unpredicted happens, we are apt to panic. Therefore, it is very important to consider various scenarios and conduct training and simulations. In such processes, mistaken policies also become clear.
- Part 3
Ms. Keiko Iiboshi: Conclusion
- We have always known that we should call 110 when we find burglars and 119 when we see a fire, but cannot respond what we should do when a missile is launched. The Civil Protection Law, for the first time, has created a manual showing us what to do in case of armed attacks. It is quite simple. Just stay inside our house.
- We need to stay at home even after missiles land in until their type is clarified. This is what we can tell children even now. If they learn it now, this may become common sense in 10 or 20 years.
- People from countries where there are no earthquakes get surprised with a minor magnitude 1 earthquake. Some Americans even make a phone call to their hometown. But those who have learned that a magnitude 1 earth quake is nothing big to worry about can stay calm. Therefore, the most important point is that we can avoid panicking if we know what to do in case of emergencies.
Ms. Keiko Iiboshi: Question
- Among the various stories I heard today, I felt very impressed to know that Tottori prefecture first conducted simulations concerning how to evacuate residents in case of an emergency.
Mr. Yoshihiro Katayama: Answer
- What were the actual results of simulations conducted in Tottori prefecture? Were residents able to evacuate successfully?
Ms. Keiko Iiboshi: Conclusion
- We made an evacuation plan independently before the Law was enacted, and made rather excessive presumptions about various cases. Therefore, it was rather impractical, requiring more than ten days for all residents to complete evacuation. But through map exercises, each part of the overall plan was able to be examined.
- An evacuation drill implemented at Misasa-cho in Tottori went well, although various problems were discovered. On a day with heavy snowfall last December, all residents from elderly people to children were able to evacuate successfully.
Mr. Harutoshi Fukui: Conclusion
- It is important for individuals to take action, but I understand it is more important for municipalities to voluntarily think of their residents. I really hope that all municipalities will make further efforts.
- I myself saved many things for year-2000-related computer problems, but have eaten them up, as I could not keep them too long at home. This forum gave me a good chance to think about my surroundings again, including disasters.
Mr. Yoshihiro Katayama: Conclusion
- I壇 like you to tell your family and your coworkers at least what we should do in case of a missile attack, as written in this pamphlet. Only with this information, will they feel relieved.
- You may think it the end of the world if you experience a missile attack. But there is a chance that you will survive unless you receive a direct hit. Therefore, the first thing you should know is how to protect yourselves, and then you should go on to consider the more difficult challenges like self-support or mutual-support.
Mr. Toshiyuki Shikata: Conclusion
- As I work as a governor, I think what is most important in case of emergencies is whether responsible people can calmly take the initiative.
- All people are always requested to take appropriate actions whatever happens, but that is impossible. There should be proper leaders at each level of the nation, namely prefectures, municipalities, and local communities, who can give appropriate instructions and guidance.
- The national government has established a reliable department. Prefectures including Tottori have worked hard, and so have municipalities.
- I think training is very important. In October 2000, a big earthquake similar to the Kobe earthquake hit Tottori prefecture. It measured 7.3 on the Richter scale and an upper 6 on the Japanese scale at its maximum. At that time, we were able to conduct our initial response smoothly. We established a Task Force in 10 minutes and took the necessary measures immediately.
- We were able to conduct our initial response smoothly, because we had conducted training two months before. We happened to have the same type of earthquake as we assumed for the training. Therefore, we could actually take actions with confidence. I really felt glad that we had conducted the training.
- I think we should implement training also for such emergencies as the Civil Protection Law is applied to. Through such training, we can learn what we should do first. It would be too late if we look for a manual or refer to the Civil Protection Plans after an emergency situation emerges.
- We should roughly memorize who has what kind of functions and what kind of support and help is available. We also need to have an ability to think and act flexibly based on the situation.
Mr. Motomi Inoue: Conclusion
- I think Japan should consider countermeasures against terrorism rather than the threat of being attacked by other nations. Japan has run its affairs scrupulously, correctly, and in a mature fashion. You may think that Japan could never incur other nations・hatred and would never be attacked by terrorists. But there is a probability that you may encounter terrorism.
- Japan, with 120 million people living in small four islands, is the second or third largest economic power in the world and imports more than 90% of its energy and 60% of its food from other countries. This may seem odd from the viewpoint of the outside world. There must be terrorists who consider that Japan has been doing something wrong.
- Therefore, you should stop thinking that Japan would never be a target of terrorism. You should be prepared, and equipped with the view that terrorism could occur any time also in Japan. It may be a commonplace remark, but if you are prepared, you don稚 have to worry.
- The Law was enacted two years ago, and Plans are now being made in various stages. There remain many aspects to be resolved both on the hardware side and the software side, but we have been making efforts to promote developing the system in cooperation with local governments and related organizations. Your cooperation is also essential.
- The national government and local governments both have excellent Plans. Those Plans have a volume of more than 100 pages, but I worry that they may not actually function well. I think that we need not only to learn the essence of those Plans by heart but also to practice and acquire this through training.
- Last year, the national government and local government jointly implemented a training exercise once, and four prefectures, Tottori, Saitama, Toyama, and Saga, jointly implemented a map exercise. This fiscal year, three training exercises and eight map exercises are scheduled. The national government will increase such opportunities more, and we expect peoples・active participation.
- This pamphlet has less than 20 pages, so you will be able to read it through in ten minutes. Please take a look at it later.