Online Forum “Re-examining Complex Emergency in the Age of COVID-19”

 THE LEADS ASIA, in collaboration with Peace Boat Disaster Relief Center (
PBV), Waseda Institute of Korean Studies (WIKS), and Project Peaceology, Co-hosted an online forum “Re-examining Complex Emergency in the Age of COVID-19” on Monday, July 20.

 The unprecedented combination of an unparalleled pandemic in history and the successive major natural disasters in Kyushu region is forcing us to rethink how we could support and collaborate on the highly complex issues.

 This time, experts from various fields gathered to discuss what kind of support can be provided for the disasters in the region and other parts of Asia that have been suffering under the similar disastrous situation, while cross-border human exchange being restricted in prevention of transmitting the virus.

 Two representatives from THE LEADS ASIA attended the forum, and discussed with the participants the necessity of sharing awareness, knowledge, and experiences regarding disasters in neighboring Asian countries, and what we can do utilizing our platform and networks. 

◾︎Peace Boat Disaster Relief Center (PBV)
  Staffs and practitioners shared the following issues regarding natural disaster support in the “Corona-Disasters”.

  • The substantial problems caused by blocked human contact in supporting victims
  • Increased risk of disaster-related deaths due to the delayed recoveries
  • Issue of balancing Covid-19 prevention vs Disaster Relief

 Specific stories were further discussed about what efforts are needed to spread the knowledge of Public Disaster Literacy so that they can respond to disasters any time they occur.

(From the official PBV website)

◾The actors of “The Time We Spent in Ishinomaki (イシノマキにいた時間)”

  “The Time We Spent in Ishinomaki (イシノマキにいた時間)” is a straight play that recorded total 20,000 audiences, and drew an attention for donating all proceeds from its ticket sales to the areas in Tohoku where the Great Earthquake and Tsunami has devastated.

     The 3 main actors gave an insightful talk on the various perspectives on disaster relief, and the role of cultural activities such as theater play in solving complex issues. They spoke the back stories on giving birth to the play, introducing a living example of how one’s compassion for others could come into forms to help them through cultural activities.

**The play will be performed online on Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th of August.** 

Click here for the reservation (Japanese).

◾NPO Holocaust Education Resource Center (Kokoro)

  Ms. Fumiko Ishioka, a specialist in human rights education from NPO Holocaust Education Resource Center, spoke about the necessity of more active dialogues in problem-solving  and the use of theater in education. Ms. Ishioka introduced an example of her long-held project “Hannah’s Bag (ハンナのカバン)” supported by UNESCO, which fosters kids to voice out their minds and to understanding complicated matters through theatre methods.

(From the official website)

◾Choose Life Project

   Mr. Hiroshi Saji, a president of Choose Life Project, joined us for a discussion in the seconf half of the forum. The newly established media has been attracting lots of attentions for its brand-new approach in covering various issues in society. Mr. Saji proposed the possible ways in which the Internet can effectively inform for cooperation with other organizations that deals with disaster relief. 

(From the official YouTube channel)

  What actions each individuals could take to prevent further loss of irreplaceable lives in the future must be continued to discuss through constructive dialogues.

   We would like to thank all the participants for this amazing opportunity.


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