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Topics for Policy and Research Collaboration

The presentations and discussions at the September 1996 Symposium identified a wide range of topics for United States-Japan collaboration to reduce earthquake losses. These were described in the Joint Statement as follows:

The Participants proposed the following areas for further cooperation:

  1. Develop and exchange information on:

  • improved earthquake warning, earthquake emergency response, recovery and mitigation policies, programs, and procedures.

  • use of urban planning and development policies and procedures and practices to achieve earthquake hazard reduction.

  • methods for the accurate assessment of the severity of the disaster that will enable proper and quick response.

  • advanced search and rescue and fire fighting techniques.

  • improved programs to assist communities in their recovery from disaster and exchange of this new knowledge.

  • improved seismic vulnerability assessment and strengthening technologies for buildings, structures, and lifeline systems, including use of new materials and large-scale testing, and development of recommendations for design guidelines, standards, and practices.

  • effective means to exchange policy and technical personnel and data following earthquakes.

  • risk assessment and emergency management for mega-cities.

  1. Improve:

  • real-time earthquake monitoring and warning, probabilistic forecasting, and earthquake hazard mapping.



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Report of the Observer Panel for the U.S.-Japan Earthquake Policy Symposium 3 Topics for Policy and Research Collaboration The presentations and discussions at the September 1996 Symposium identified a wide range of topics for United States-Japan collaboration to reduce earthquake losses. These were described in the Joint Statement as follows: The Participants proposed the following areas for further cooperation: Develop and exchange information on: improved earthquake warning, earthquake emergency response, recovery and mitigation policies, programs, and procedures. use of urban planning and development policies and procedures and practices to achieve earthquake hazard reduction. methods for the accurate assessment of the severity of the disaster that will enable proper and quick response. advanced search and rescue and fire fighting techniques. improved programs to assist communities in their recovery from disaster and exchange of this new knowledge. improved seismic vulnerability assessment and strengthening technologies for buildings, structures, and lifeline systems, including use of new materials and large-scale testing, and development of recommendations for design guidelines, standards, and practices. effective means to exchange policy and technical personnel and data following earthquakes. risk assessment and emergency management for mega-cities. Improve: real-time earthquake monitoring and warning, probabilistic forecasting, and earthquake hazard mapping.

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Report of the Observer Panel for the U.S.-Japan Earthquake Policy Symposium techniques for hazard, damage, and risk assessments for buildings, structure and lifeline systems. earthquake loss estimation models to stimulate preparedness and mitigation actions and facilitate emergency response following earthquakes. public policies and mechanisms to assess critical facilities, public works, and utilities for earthquake vulnerability and to strengthen their seismic resistance. The panel agrees that these are important areas for collaboration between the United States and Japan; however, it notes that there is a need for detailed strategic planning to identify specific cooperative issues, to prioritize different topics, to provide a framework for assessing the progress and success of these efforts, and to devise methods to transfer the results to risk reduction efforts carried out by governments, private-sector organizations, and citizens. For this program to be successful, FEMA and the Working Group need to define the particular policy decisions that could be improved and advanced through cooperation with Japan. To assist in this process, this chapter outlines important issues drawn from the Symposium, focusing on the topics with the greatest potential for rewarding, cooperative work and that have the greatest implications for reducing losses and increasing public safety. The discussions are grouped according to the agenda categories from the Symposium. In general, the panel strongly endorses efforts to broaden participation in cooperative programs to include state and local governments and the private sector. In the panel's view, United States - Japan collaboration could take place through a wide range of mechanisms including, but not limited to, High-Level and Working Group meetings, workshops, visits by researchers and policy officials, joint research projects, exchanges of data, dissemination of translated materials, and publication of the results from cooperative work. With this approach, collaboration could engage a diverse group of participants, including policymakers, program officials, representatives of private industry and state and local governments, academic and government researchers, and other stakeholders. To this end, the panel suggests that the proposed U.S.-Japan Universities Coalition for Earthquake Research also would complement the outcome of the Policy Symposium.

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Report of the Observer Panel for the U.S.-Japan Earthquake Policy Symposium EARTHQUAKE FORECASTING, WARNING, AND HAZARD ZONATION Real-Time Monitoring and Seismic Warning Systems Real-time seismology provides rapid determinations of earthquake parameters such as epicenter, magnitude, and distribution of ground shaking for use in emergency response and warning activities. Using automated retrieval and analysis of data from seismic networks, these systems issue alerts up to tens of seconds before the start of ground shaking when a fault is distant from a community (~100 km). The operating principle of real-time seismic systems is that seismic waves travel at velocities that are much lower than the speed of electronic data communications. Such early-warning capabilities could benefit urban areas at risk from earthquakes on distant faults, such as Los Angeles (from the San Andreas fault) and many urban areas of Japan (from offshore subduction zones). Indeed, real-time warning systems are successfully operating in Mexico City because of its distant location from seismically active faults (greater than 100 km). Applications for real-time seismic systems include warnings to shut down lifelines and sensitive manufacturing processes before shaking begins and monitoring data during an earthquake to locate the extent of strongest ground shaking for public and private emergency response personnel. Presentations at the Symposium indicated that there are significant differences between the United States and Japan in the level of financial commitment for real-time seismic systems. In the United States, systems are largely evolving from existing networks of weak and strong-motion sensors (with notable new installations in some areas), while Japan is installing large, dense, dedicated networks for real-time applications. Prototype systems have been demonstrated in both countries over limited regions. Developing these into operational systems will require focused efforts to site, install, and operate seismic monitoring stations; construct high-speed data collection and distribution networks; develop software for reliable and automatic analysis of seismic data; and

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Report of the Observer Panel for the U.S.-Japan Earthquake Policy Symposium establish coordination between the operators of real-time systems and user groups. For this effort it will be valuable for the United States and Japan to share their experience designing seismic networks to identify the trade-offs among performance, station density, and configuration. Similar collaboration on high-speed communication systems will help to improve the reliability of communication during seismic events. As part of this effort, it would also be an excellent opportunity to implement tsunami warning systems, similar to operating systems in Japan, along the coasts of Hawaii and the western United States. In panel's view, the greatest opportunities for scientific and technical collaboration are in the area of software development for automated data retrieval, analysis, and broadcasting. There are three reasons for this assessment. First, the principal problems of software development for real-time systems are independent of the details of network size and density and communications protocols. Hence, this is an area of commonality between the two countries. Second, collaboration on software development and benchmarking is relatively easy compared to large-scale experimental programs because of Internet communications. Finally, and most important, software development focuses on the key technical issue for operational real-time systems--the reliable identification and location of earthquakes and the rapid transmission of data to end users. Ultimately, the reliability of these systems will be established through benchmarking exercises in different tectonic and seismic settings, using a range of software for automated analysis. In addition to these technical issues, there are a number of important policy concerns that would benefit from collaboration between the United States and Japan. Of these, the most important will be to identify the particular data products and delivery schedules (e.g., before or after an earthquake) that are most useful to stakeholders for real-time systems. Resolving these issues will have important implications for the design, cost, and performance of the operational systems. For example, if end users place a high value on receiving earthquake information before the start of ground shaking, systems that operate at the highest levels of performance will be required. Additional policy issues include establishing goals for the reliability of warnings, defining policies for the use of real-time data (e.g., liability, mandatory

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Report of the Observer Panel for the U.S.-Japan Earthquake Policy Symposium or voluntary response to warnings), and educating stakeholders about the use of this information. The panel suggests that workshops with policymakers, seismologists, and end-users of real-time data would contribute to the resolution of these policy issues. Seismological Studies Source Studies By analyzing seismic recordings, many of the details of an earthquake source can be resolved such as the history and spatial distribution of rupture and the radiated pattern of seismic energy. These research results describe the physical processes that control the origin of earthquakes and the relationship between the source and subsequent ground shaking. As described in presentations and discussions at the Symposium, these results are important baseline information for real-time seismic monitoring and warning systems, probabilistic seismic hazard analysis, loss estimation methods, and performance-based approaches to building design. (Collaborative projects for the last three issues are discussed below.) Given its importance, the panel notes that formal presentations on seismic source characterization were conspicuously absent from the Symposium. Because the understanding of earthquakes is incomplete, scientific studies of seismic sources are valuable, regardless of where an earthquake occurs. For this reason and because of the high costs of seismic instrumentation, there would be significant rewards from continued and expanded programs to exchange primary seismic data between researchers in the United States and Japan. Policy issues for source studies focus on the relationship between basic seismological research and practical mitigation technologies. Historically, this coupling has been weak because of limited exchanges among the scientific, engineering, and policy communities. The Northridge and Kobe earthquakes revealed the severe implications of this policy issue: the large damaging ground motions during these events were not surprising to seismologists because of knowledge gained from source studies over the past decade. Unfortunately, the implications of these results had not been fully recognized by earthquake engineers and policymakers. To address this

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Report of the Observer Panel for the U.S.-Japan Earthquake Policy Symposium problem, it would be valuable to hold workshops on new applications for seismic source studies and to facilitate the transfer of knowledge from the scientific to the policy community. Earthquake Prediction Except for one technical talk from a Japanese delegate (Masakazu Ohtake), discussions of earthquake prediction were also conspicuously absent from the Symposium. In the panel's view, this was notable since short-term earthquake prediction is one of the legislatively mandated goals of Japan's earthquake program, and it has been the focus for much of Japan's research, mitigation, and preparedness efforts related to earthquakes. This de-emphasis may reflect the fact that Japan is reevaluating its prediction efforts following the Kobe disaster and that prediction programs in the United States are small by comparison. At this juncture, the panel believes there are new and important opportunities for cooperation in ongoing research related to earthquake prediction. Utilizing scientific and policy expertise, there is a need to assess whether earthquakes (or properties of earthquakes) are predictable and if so, whether such information could be utilized for reducing earthquake losses. If research shows that earthquakes are not predictable, this will have important policy implications that should be explored. On a technical level, collaborations could continue through the UJNR Panel on Earthquake Prediction Technology. On a policy level, it would be useful to convene workshops on earthquake prediction, involving policymakers and scientists from government, universities, and industry. Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis In recent years, geologists, seismologists, and engineers have developed methods to quantify the probability of seismic hazards at different locations. Often the results are stated as a probability that shaking at a particular intensity (e.g., 0.4 g) will be exceeded over a specific time interval (e.g., 50 years). Depending on the scope and accuracy of the input data, such models have been developed with high spatial resolutions to identify regions with comparatively high seismic

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Report of the Observer Panel for the U.S.-Japan Earthquake Policy Symposium risks. Such information plays a critical role in the development of performance-based guidelines for buildings and in the development of building codes by seismic hazard zonation. Symposium presentations described recent efforts in the United States and Japan to carry out probabilistic seismic hazard analysis on a national scale using a broad range of data sources. In the United States this analysis is incorporating new data on active faults slip and the geographic distribution of historical earthquakes. The panel suggests that it may be valuable to incorporate further information regarding the intensity of ground shaking close to the seismic source and the effects of resonance in sedimentary basins. To support this mapping effort, the panel suggests the following areas of important research: Exchanges of data on the nature of ground shaking and building response close to the seismic sources would be valuable for developing a comprehensive description of earthquake effects to utilize in probabilistic analyses. There is a need for cooperative research to identify the characteristics of the seismic hazard that are most important for risk assessment (the details of the ground shaking that are the greatest predictors of damage to buildings, lifelines, etc.). Currently, most hazard maps are based on ground acceleration, but other measures may be more meaningful (e.g., duration of shaking, ground velocities, displacement). In the panel's view the presentation by Kenzo Toki raised important policy questions for probabilistic seismic hazard analysis that should be considered in future discussions. Describing the history of hazard analysis in Japan, Dr. Toki noted that there has been a great effort to assess the possibility of large interplate subduction zone earthquakes because these were believed to be the greatest risk to Japanese cities. In the analysis the possibility of relatively infrequent and smaller intraplate events (such as the Hyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake) were not fully considered. In the aftermath of the Kobe disaster (and the Northridge earthquake that occurred on a previously unknown fault), policymakers have raised fundamental questions regarding the value and application of probabilistic seismic hazard mapping. If the models are incomplete,

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Report of the Observer Panel for the U.S.-Japan Earthquake Policy Symposium hence limiting the accuracy, can probabilistic seismic hazard mapping serve as a useful incentive for mitigation? Given the state of the art, what are the best uses of seismic hazard analysis for mitigation? Notably, there these issues were not discussed by policy officials at the Symposium, suggesting that the potential of the technology for reducing earthquake losses may not be well understood. For this reason there is a need for workshops with scientists, engineers, and policymakers to examine the capabilities of hazard mapping and the value of the mapping results (e.g., the above questions). EARTHQUAKE RISK ASSESSMENT AND LOSS ESTIMATION Loss Estimation Seismic loss estimation models are used to calculate the broad range of damage, casualties, and economic costs associated with destruction of buildings, inventory, and infrastructure during an earthquake. A seismic hazard model is used as input and the resulting damage is estimated from the assumed ground shaking and the vulnerability of buildings and lifelines. Because of the complexity of urban environments and their response to earthquakes, loss estimation models require large amounts of site-specific input data to produce accurate results. Presentations at the Symposium described applications for loss estimation studies over three different time scales: before an earthquake to identify the most vulnerable regions and structures and to guide mitigation efforts; immediately following an earthquake, using inputs of real-time seismic data, where possible, to guide the allocation of outside resources for emergency response operations; and in the time period after an earthquake to guide recovery and reconstruction efforts. Currently, both the American and the Japanese governments are focusing considerable effort and resources on the development of loss estimation models, although the applications are different. (A computer model, named HAZUS, has been developed by FEMA for use in the

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Report of the Observer Panel for the U.S.-Japan Earthquake Policy Symposium United States. The Early Damage Estimation System has been developed by the National Land Agency for use in Japan.) Much of the Japanese effort involves the collection of input data on a national scale for emergency response activities following an earthquake. By comparison, loss estimation methods in the United States may be used as a tool to guide communities in prioritizing mitigation measures. Proprietary loss estimation models and data sets are also used by the insurance industry and private investors in both countries. In practice, the accuracy of loss estimation calculations will be limited by uncertainties in both the hazard (including strong ground motion) and the vulnerability of a particular urban region. The accuracy of loss estimation calculations could be greatly increased if the uncertainties could be decreased. Because of these uncertainties and the complexity of the calculations, the panel believes that there would be benefit to increased collaboration between the United States and Japan on improving the methodology for estimating seismic losses. Such efforts would involve sharing a wide range of data on strong motions during earthquakes, building and lifeline inventories, and damage during past earthquakes to address the following questions: How can loss estimation models be extrapolated to large scales to calculate the impacts on mega-cities? How can loss estimation models be updated using information on near-real-time ground shaking and structural response? How can probabilistic estimates of earthquake recurrence be used in loss estimation to develop improved measures of the risks associated with seismic hazards? How can accurate estimates be constructed from incomplete baseline data? Because of the central role of loss estimation as an incentive for mitigation and a guide for emergency response, there are a number of important policy issues that could be addressed through workshops on the application of this methodology. These include: How can response, recovery, reconstruction, and mitigation efforts be strengthened through the use of loss estimation methodologies?

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Report of the Observer Panel for the U.S.-Japan Earthquake Policy Symposium What has been the experience and influence of loss estimation calculations? For example, have past estimates been accurate and have they influenced communities to implement mitigation measures? What are the tradeoffs between the accuracy and costs for developing loss estimation models, and what level of accuracy is needed for these estimates to be useful? What are the ethical issues involved in providing loss information to potentially vulnerable communities? Disaster Situation Assessments Within 12 to 24 hours of an earthquake there is a need to assess the extent and severity of damage to guide emergency management agencies in the deployment of resources for response and recovery activities. The technology for disaster assessment includes remote sensing data from satellites and airplanes, readings from the Global Positioning System (GPS) and seismic sensors on buildings and infrastructure elements, and on-the-ground assessment teams using mobile communication equipment, all coupled with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The primary challenge for successful disaster assessments is to develop policies and organizational structures that can respond quickly and decisively and provide continuous updates of the situation in the confused and chaotic state following an earthquake when lifelines and communication systems may not be functioning. Inaccurate assessments during this initial phase can have severe implications. For example, in the first few hours after the Hyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake, Japanese officials downgraded their assessment of the disaster based on incomplete instrument measurements of seismic intensity. Recordings from the severely affected zone, which would have signaled the disaster, were not available because of interruptions in communications. Because accurate disaster assessment relies on quick action across many levels of government, success is contingent on prior planning and preparation, the development of automated decision-making mechanisms, and the deployment of adequate resources for accurate and reliable data gathering. Presentations at the Symposium demonstrated that there are significant differences in the policies for

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Report of the Observer Panel for the U.S.-Japan Earthquake Policy Symposium disaster assessments between the United States and Japan. Prior to the Hyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake, Japan had used a centralized system for disaster assessment, coordinated at the national level. By comparison, United States communities rely on the coordinated assessments of local, state, and federal officials-in that order. Policy discussions at the Symposium focused on the roles and responsibilities in this coordinated effort, interest in strengthening the capabilities of local response mechanisms, and differences between the policies for emergency response in the United States and Japan. Recognizing that successful disaster assessments are contingent on both the technological and organizational infrastructure, the panel suggests the following areas for collaboration between the United States and Japan: Research on New Technologies. Accurate assessments require reliable data-gathering technologies that will function in the hours following an earthquake. For this reason there may be great rewards from the use of current space-based technology and the development and application of new remote sensing techniques such as Synthetic Aperture Radar. It will also be important to identify strategies to limit system overloads so that communications remain operational following an earthquake. The use of real-time monitoring systems to delineate damaged regions, also should be explored. Finally, it would be valuable to develop real-time loss estimation capabilities, using measured ground shaking and building response, to focus disaster assessments on the most severely affected regions. Assessment of Organizational Infrastructure. Often there are significant differences in disaster assessments between nominally similar organizations responding to the same disaster using the same policies and procedures (e.g., between two counties following an earthquake). These differences emphasize the importance of the organizational infrastructures in the success of disaster assessment and emergency response in the United States and Japan. By comparing the experience from previous earthquakes in the United States and Japan, there are opportunities to evaluate these organizational infrastructure and to identify ''best

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Report of the Observer Panel for the U.S.-Japan Earthquake Policy Symposium practices'' for disaster assessment policies. Such cooperation would focus on the planning and organizational practices prior to an event, and the criteria for decision making and response that would be implemented following an earthquake. EARTHQUAKE-RESISTANT DESIGN CONSTRUCTION, REHABILITATION, AND REPAIR STANDARDS The design and construction of earthquake-resistant structures is a key component of strategies to mitigate earthquake losses. In the past 10 years there have been great advances in earthquake engineering; however, the Hyogo-ken Nanbu and Northridge earthquakes revealed that there are still some fundamental uncertainties. Steel moment resisting frame buildings, which were thought to be seismically reinforced, exhibited widespread failures during these two events. The precise cause of the problem has not been identified. This emphasizes the need for a broader understanding of structural performance during earthquakes. The Symposium presentations and discussions showed that previous agreements between the United States and Japan have led to extensive collaboration between the two countries on improved design and construction practices. Looking to the future, the panel believes there are further opportunities for valuable scientific, technical, and policy collaboration in the areas of performance-based design methodologies (the design of structures to meet specific performance objectives under specified ground shaking) and large-scale testing and simulation. Performance-Based Design Historically, the United States has implemented building codes with the goal of preventing casualties during the largest expected earthquakes for a particular region. These standards are targeted to life safety, and have significantly reduced the number of fatalities from seismic hazards. From an economic perspective, however, the standards are minimal because buildings can be total economic losses after an

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Report of the Observer Panel for the U.S.-Japan Earthquake Policy Symposium earthquake even if collapse is prevented. To address this problem and to reduce the costs associated with earthquakes, there has been an effort to develop performance-based approaches to design that consider a range of possible "damage states" that might result from an earthquake. Assuming one has reliable information about the probability of earthquakes of different magnitudes and the response of structures to different intensities of ground shaking, in principle it is possible to design for a range of performance objectives for a given seismic event. The Symposium presentations indicated a significant interest in developing such performance-based approaches to building design in both the United States and Japan, although it is important to note that there are differences in the definitions of performance being discussed in the two countries. In the panel's view, the following are important areas for collaboration: To develop reliable, performance-based design methodologies, there is a need for comprehensive cooperative studies to establish the relationship between ground motions and all levels of damage to structures. This effort will rely on regional assessments of damage during recent earthquakes in the United States and Japan and on measurements of ground shaking during those events. It should also account for the important factors of aging and construction quality in determining structural response. The overall goal will be to establish a gradational set of performance objectives for different types of structures that can be correlated with a wide range of ground-shaking intensities. For policy decisions there is a need for collaboration on the process of establishing performance guidelines for different types of structures and assessing the reliability of performance-based design methodologies. There is a need to understand the response of lifelines to seismic shaking and to develop associated performance-based standards. Lifelines include transportation systems (bridges, highways, railroads, airports), water and sewerage, electric power, communication systems, gas and liquid fuel pipelines, and critical facilities (hospitals, fire and police stations). Except for a few of these components (notably bridges and large buildings), most lifelines are

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Report of the Observer Panel for the U.S.-Japan Earthquake Policy Symposium constructed without any special codes or guidelines for seismic resistance. Large-Scale Dynamic Testing and Simulation Shake tables can subject models of buildings and building elements to shaking that is similar to a real earthquake. Shake table testing has made significant contributions to the design of seismically resistant structures. In the United States much of the effort has focused on reduced-scale models of buildings owing to limitations in the size and load capacity of the available shake tables. Recently, there has been renewed interest in the development of "large-scale" shake table facilities to allow tests of full-scale, complex structures and buildings. The costs of these facilities would be significant. Plans to construct a large-scale shake table facility in Japan, costing $800 million, were described at the Symposium. (Note that these costs do not include the significant operational expenses of such a facility.) The possibility of building a comparable facility in the United States in the immediate future is unlikely. Because large-scale testing facilities require a large financial commitment to a centralized research facility, they raise several important policy issues. As discussed at the Symposium, these include the possibility of collaboration between the United States and Japan on the construction and maintenance of a testing facility and the development of alternative (and possibly cheaper) technologies such as computer simulation. Both of these topics were discussed by the Symposium participants without resolution. In the view of the panel, both are important areas for future policy cooperation. If the two nations could collaborate on large-scale testing, it would enhance testing research in both countries at a significant cost savings. Likewise, it may be worthwhile to develop computer simulation techniques; however, this would require a coordinated effort to develop the expertise and infrastructure to support such techniques.

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Report of the Observer Panel for the U.S.-Japan Earthquake Policy Symposium EARTHQUAKE PREPARATION, RESPONSE, RECOVERY, AND MITIGATION In the period following an earthquake, the policies and practices governing emergency response and preparedness play a critical role in reducing loss of life and property and in speeding economic recovery in the community. This is an area that is predominantly driven by policy decisions and social science research rather than by science or engineering. It is also an area where there has been little collaboration between the United States and Japan because of the emphasis of prior bilateral programs. For these reasons it is also an area of great opportunity for collaboration. In the view of the panel, it would be valuable to establish cooperation between emergency response managers in the United States and Japan. Such collaboration would focus on comparing emergency response plans, command and control structures, communication capabilities and protocols, and information management systems for all levels of government. Through such cooperation, it would be important to assess the performance of these systems during past disasters. There is also a need to focus on the process of recovery following large earthquakes. Discussions at the symposium indicated that the challenge of rebuilding Kobe and addressing the housing needs of thousands of displaced residents (especially the aged) has proved to be more problematic than the original emergency response activities. Such cooperation should involve officials at equivalent levels of government, representatives of nonprofit emergency services groups, and university public policy researchers. The goals for this collaboration would be to identify programs and information that successfully encourage individuals, households, and organizations to prepare for disasters. The cooperation could also be broadened to include strategies for post-earthquake psychological support. CONCLUSIONS This chapter provides an overview of the most promising areas for cooperation between the United States and Japan, with a focus on specific activities related to technical and policy advances. Consistent with the Joint Statement and with discussions at the Symposium, the

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Report of the Observer Panel for the U.S.-Japan Earthquake Policy Symposium panel observes that there are many topics for fruitful policy collaboration between the United States and Japan. As discussed above, many of the policy concerns for reducing earthquake losses have strong connections to technical questions. For this reason the panel emphasizes that it will be important to integrate the activities of the Working Group and the High-Level Forum with the results of ongoing bilateral initiatives addressed to scientific and engineering research.