A grid showing the participants in the virtual 14th Meeting of the U.S.-Japan Emergency Management Working Group
The participants in the virtual 14th Meeting of the U.S.-Japan Emergency Management Working Group.

On January 18, 2023, representatives from the governments of Japan and the United States convened virtually for the 14th meeting of the U.S.-Japan Emergency Management Working Group (EMWG). The meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Shinichi Araki, Director General of the Nuclear Disaster Management Bureau of the Cabinet Office of Japan, and Mr. Jay A. Tilden, Deputy Under Secretary and Associate Administrator for Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation for the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. The two parties reviewed recent accomplishments and reiterated their joint commitment to working together to strengthen nuclear and radiological emergency preparedness and response.

The co-chairs acknowledged the efforts of the EMWG to continue to engage on this important topic and advance the goals set forth for the past three years. Despite facing challenges due to COVID-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, the two parties highlighted a number of successful joint activities, including several virtual technical and informational exchanges and the observation of a large-scale drill in Japan. Both governments expressed appreciation for the continuing partnership and collaboration represented by the EMWG, and acknowledged each other’s important contributions to this effort by providing support to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) through the Response and Assistance Network (RANET). They agreed on the importance of international cooperation as a vital tool for building national, regional, and global capabilities and expressed appreciation for the fruitful collaboration that the EMWG has enabled since its establishment under the Bilateral Commission on Civil Nuclear Cooperation.

This meeting served as an opportunity for participants from both countries to share the accomplishments and lessons learned from the last three years of cooperation under the EMWG, and to set forth the goals and opportunities for further collaboration for the next three years. Participants from Japan included the Cabinet office of Japan, Nuclear Regulation Authority, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, and Embassy of Japan in the United States of America. Participants from the United States included the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and U.S. Embassy Tokyo. The participants identified opportunities for collaboration, including mutual observation of drills and exercises, sharing lessons learned and best practices for virtual/hybrid events, and technical exchanges on subject matters such as unmanned and automated methods, balancing radiological and non-radiological health impacts of emergencies, and effective communication with the public. The co-chairs acknowledged the value of conducting in-person and virtual/hybrid events and expressed optimism about future engagements. 

EMWG members renewed their spirit of cooperation as the discussion of recent accomplishments demonstrated the strength of the partnership and what can be achieved through international cooperation. Both parties are committed as ever to their partnership under the EMWG and greatly looking forward to the possibilities of collaboration and the accomplishments to come.