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Report of the Observer Panel for the U.S.-Japan Earthquake Policy Symposium Appendix A CORRESPONDENCE August 8, 1995 Mr. James Lee Witt Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency 500 C Street, SW Washington, DC 20472 Dear Director Witt: At their June 15 meeting in Halifax, Japanese Prime Minister Murayama proposed to President Clinton that the U.S. and Japan host a natural disaster experts symposium as part of the U.S.-Japan Common Agenda, to which the President agreed. Due to the success of FEMA's assistance to Japan in the aftermath of the Kobe Earthquake, as well as FEMA's unrivaled expertise in disaster management, I believe your agency is ideally suited to coordinate within the U.S. government our participation in the symposium. If FEMA is willing to engage in this effort, I would suggest that FEMA take the lead in coordinating the various USG agencies that would be involved. The natural disaster symposium offers an excellent opportunity to exchange experiences and solidify ties created during your much-appreciated trip to Japan. If you or your staff have additional questions on this proposal, please do not hesitate to contact me or the
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Report of the Observer Panel for the U.S.-Japan Earthquake Policy Symposium State Department's Japan Desk. I look forward to working with you on this important new venture. With best wishes, Sincerely yours, /s/Timothy E. Wirth Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs United States Department of State Washington, D.C.
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Report of the Observer Panel for the U.S.-Japan Earthquake Policy Symposium Mr. Timothy E. Wirth Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Department of State Washington, DC 20520-7250 Dear Secretary Wirth: Thank you for your letter of August 8, 1995, requesting that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) take the lead role in coordinating with other Federal agencies to carry out a joint U.S.-Japanese earthquake symposium. Since we have an established relationship with the relevant Federal agencies and the requisite expertise in disaster management that is of interest to the Japanese, we are pleased to accept this role. Although FEMA has little authorization and limited resources to support international disaster activities, we appreciate your confidence in our capabilities and expertise. My staff will be working closely with the Japan Desk with respect to policy guidance and in making arrangements for the symposium. I have asked Kay C. Goss, FEMA Associate Director for the Preparedness, Training and Exercises Directorate, to manage the contract and the conference. I have asked Richard T. Moore, FEMA Associate Director for Mitigation, to take the lead on the technical and substantive components of the program. Further, we have contracted with the National Academy of Sciences for organizing assistance from their Board on Natural Disasters. I understand that the Japanese are agreeable to holding the symposium in Washington, D.C. during April–May 1996. Currently, FEMA is also involved with the Japanese in several other natural disaster prevention activities. Most notable is a U.S.-Japan Panel on Wind and Seismic Effects, formed under a cooperative program in 1964. That group will be meeting in Washington, D.C. during May. While this Panel has more of a scientific focus, some of the same U.S. and Japanese officials may be involved in the proposed
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Report of the Observer Panel for the U.S.-Japan Earthquake Policy Symposium symposium. FEMA is also participating in the disaster prevention activities of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. I mention these activities so that you are aware of FEMA's increasing international role in the all hazards mission and capabilities. I need your assistance to help prioritize and integrate these outreach activities so as to mesh closely with your overall foreign policy objectives. I look forward to working closely with you on these matters. Sincerely yours, /s/James L. Witt Director Federal Emergency Management Agency Washington, D.C.
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