MSAJ Explores Disaster Resilience in Japan: A Cross-Cultural Exchange
18 June 2023
Tokyo, June 18th: Four participants from the Malaysian Student Association in Japan (MSAJ) — Dina, Iqra, Radhiah, and Alia — took part in an event organized by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO). Titled "Let's Learn About Disasters and Disaster Prevention in Japan and the World!", this event saw the participation of a total of 11 countries, including Malaysia and Japan.
Participants, hailing from diverse backgrounds, engaged in free discussions about the types of disasters prevalent in their respective countries and shared insights on how they prevent or cope with such incidents. Each participating country was required to present two posters and prepare representatives proficient in English, Japanese, or both languages.
In addition to the booth exhibition, JASSO arranged a seminar and workshop. From 10:30 am to 11:30 am, Mr. MUROSAKI Yoshiteru, representing the Japan Disaster Prevention Officer Association, delivered a lecture on Japan's approach to disaster prevention and international collaboration in the face of disasters. The lecture shed light on Japan's historical experiences with disasters and the strategies employed to prevent their recurrence. Japan, now in a stable condition, feels a responsibility to share its knowledge globally and actively contribute to disaster prevention efforts, which is a primary motivation behind such events.
The MSAJ participants from Malaysia presented on a range of natural disasters, including floods, landslides, droughts, tsunamis, haze, and earthquakes. Despite Malaysia being spared from severe natural disasters like volcanic eruptions and earthquakes due to its location in Southeast Asia, having a tropical climate, and being situated on the edge of the Ring of Fire, the presentation emphasized the importance of learning about various natural disasters and understanding how to overcome them in the future.
At 1:30 pm, all participants engaged in a workshop called CROSSROAD, a game that tested survival skills. In this game, participants had to make choices in situations, such as deciding whether to escape or stay in an underground mall during an earthquake. The majority decision earned participants a blue cushion, while individuals with differing choices received a gold cushion. The game proved to be an enjoyable and engaging experience for all participants, fostering a sense of camaraderie.
This event not only enhanced participants' understanding of each other's disasters and disaster prevention methods but also facilitated the development of new friendships and connections. Participants expressed hope for future reunions in programs provided by JASSO.