Statement by Mr. Hotaka Machida, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, at the Meeting of the Sixth Committee on Protection of Persons in Event of Disasters (Agenda Item 90)

(As delivered)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
 
The delegation of Japan highly values the draft articles of “protection of persons in the event of disasters” and believes that they contribute to the progressive development of international law in this field.
 
Madam Chair,
 
It has been more than seven years since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. As a high disaster risk country, Japan has been keenly interested in this topic based on its own experience.  Even since the adoption of this topic in 2016, Japan has suffered from serious damages caused by many natural disasters. This summer, large earthquakes struck Osaka and Hokkaido respectively, and a series of strong typhoons and unusually heavy rains brought floods and landslides to western Japan, with serious damages and many victims. Facing frequent and severe environmental disasters, Japan is of the view that the necessity of international legal norms in this field is growing.
 
With regard to the draft articles of “protection of persons in the event of disasters”, Japan believes that the articles uphold the delicate balance between humanitarian requirements and national sovereignty in the event of disasters. Also, Japan commends the fact that the articles carefully consider the widespread practices of States. 
 
In this regard, Japan would like to reiterate the importance and value of these articles. We look forward to fruitful discussions.
 
I thank you.