President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and First Lady Fazna Ahmed on Thursday visited the Maritime Disaster Prevention Centre (MDPC) in Yokosuka City, Japan.
According to the President's Office, the First Couple were welcomed at the facility by MDPC's President Najajma Satoshi. The management and representatives from MDPC gave President Solih a tour of the centre and briefed him on the emergency management, response mechanisms and training for disaster preparedness exercised in Japan.
During the visit, President Solih also met five members of Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) currently training at MDPC and inquired about their progress and experiences.
The president also toured the Oil Spill Control Training Station and Coast Cleaning Training site. MDPC has a state-of-the-art training department targeting oil spill control, firefighting, chemical and Hazardous Noxious Substance (NHS) control, and includes the Daini-Kaihou, which is a hazardous material response and firefighting training facility.
As an island nation prone to natural disasters including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and typhoons, Japan represents one of the most holistic disaster management systems in the world. The Japanese government has long provided assistance in the area of disaster reduction and prevention to Maldives.
A notable example is the seawall in capital Male' City developed with Japanese aid. Japan also granted aid to acquire a fireboat and a landing craft, procure equipment and materials for oil spill prevention, and donated disaster reduction equipment to Maldives. Currently, the two countries are working on finalising the 'Building Climate Resilient Safer Islands in the Maldives' project through the Global Climate Fund.