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Making Society Resilient to Natural Disasters

Resolving disaster issues and mitigating disaster damage are two major concerns in the international community and challenges we should tackle. Consequently, Tokio Marine Group engages in an array of initiatives in relation to disaster prevention, including four initiatives cited in the “Compilation of Private Sector Example Initiatives for Building National Resilience,” a reference material published by the Cabinet Secretariat (April 2017 edition). These are Setting up the Kansai Backup Headquarters when its headquarters in Tokyo sustains damage in a disaster: Business Continuity Plan of a Non-Life Insurance Company; Earthquake and tsunami risk research, industry-academia collaboration between Tohoku University and Tokio Marine & Nichido; Disaster Prevention Lessons to cultivate the ability to survive a disaster; and Contributing to disaster prevention and mitigation, utilizing the ecosystems in coastal areas.

We are applying our knowledge in the areas of natural disasters as well as disaster prevention and mitigation, which we have accumulated through research on natural disaster risk and participation in international initiatives, to the development and provision of products and services leading to the safety and security of customers and local communities well into the future. At the same time, we are promoting activities to disseminate our knowledge on disaster prevention and mitigation widely throughout society through such efforts as raising disaster prevention awareness of children as well as companies before a disaster strikes. Even after a disaster, we focus on making swift claims payments and providing services for the early recovery of business operations of companies affected by the disaster. Tokio Marine Group seeks to contribute to building a safe and secure society that is strongly resilient to natural disasters by providing total responses before and after disasters through its diverse products and services and various initiatives, including activities to raise disaster prevention awareness, provide relief funds and engage employee volunteers.

Tokio Marine Group’s initiatives to promote disaster prevention contribute to achieving five of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) specified in “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” which was adopted at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015. These five goals are: SDG 1 (No poverty), SDG 9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure), SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities), SDG 13 (Climate action) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the goals). We will continue to promote our efforts to make society resilient to natural disasters by collaborating with various stakeholders.

Relation between written content and SDGs
Relevant goal Relevant target Description of related content
1. No poverty 1.5 Build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events All content in general
9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure 9.a Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to small island developing States
9.5 Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries
Products and Services Participation in the World Bank’s Pacific Disaster Risk Financing Pilot Program   Product and Service Planning and Research
11. Sustainable cities and communities 11.5 Significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected by disasters, including water-related disasters Product and Service Planning and Research Building a Society Capable of Adapting to Climate Change and Weather Disaster Risk
11.b Implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 Product and Service Planning and Research
Building a Society Capable of Adapting to Earthquake and Tsunami Risk
13. Climate action 13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters All content in general
13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning Product and Service Planning and Research
Pre-Disaster Action
17. Partnerships for the goals 17.16 Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development Product and Service Planning and Research
Multi-stakeholder dialogue

Section composition

Product and Service Planning and Research

Responding to risks associated with “climate change and natural disasters,” one of Tokio Marine Group’s CSR material issues included in this theme, also comprises a major management issue that the global insurance industry must address in the medium to long term. Through industry-academia collaboration with The University of Tokyo, Nagoya University, Kyoto University and Tohoku University, Tokio Marine Group engages in research on climate change and natural disaster risk in an effort to gain deeper scientific insight into disaster prevention and mitigation and to raise the sophistication of measuring methods through risk modelling to ascertain risk volume in even greater detail. Our efforts in this area include development of a stochastic risk assessment approach. We believe that in addition to providing products and services in developed countries it is also important to disseminate the ideas of an insurance mechanism and risk management practices in developing countries and regions particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change and natural disasters in accordance with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, which provides new world guidelines for disaster risk reduction. To this end, we are working to provide solutions to global disaster issues by using the outcomes of our industry-academia research to the benefit of society and by taking part in international initiatives, such as the UNISDR Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies (ARISE) and The Geneva Association’s Extreme Events and Climate Risk (EE+CR) Working Group.

Building a Society Capable of Reducing and Adapting to Risks Resulting from Climate Change and Natural Disasters

The 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP21) held in December 2015 adopted the Paris Agreement as a new international framework of measures against climate change for 2020 onwards. As the world’s common long-term goal, the Paris Agreement aims to keep a global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The agreement also makes a clear link between itself and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, which was adopted at the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai in March 2015. There is a concern for the growing risk due to climate change, and Tokio Marine Group, working to resolve disaster issues and mitigate disaster damage, also gives due attention to the goal of the Paris Agreement and intends to contribute to its achievement.

Climate change due to global warming and other factors is considered to possibly bring about major changes in the frequency and scale of weather disasters in the future. As such, basing analyses only on past statistical data may prevent appropriate risk assessment and significantly impact the calculation of insurance premiums and the ability to pay insurance claims in the event of a serious disaster.

In response, Tokio Marine Group conducts research on climate change and natural disaster risk and on earthquake and tsunami risk through industry-academia collaboration and presents the outcomes at conferences and forums on disaster risk reduction. We also utilize these outcomes in our social contribution activities and disseminate relevant information to the public. Additionally, we proactively participate in initiatives and events related to climate change to disseminate the outcomes and details of our industry-academia research activities and engage in multi-stakeholder dialogue to share information about the latest research projects and discuss how to promote disaster prevention.

Industry-academia research:Climate change and weather disaster risk(Joint research with The University of Tokyo on forecasting future changes in typhoon risk、Joint research with Nagoya University on forecasting future changes in precipitation amounts during a typhoon and heavy rain、 Joint research with Kyoto University on forecasting future changes in water disaster risk) Earthquake and tsunami risk (Earthquake and tsunami risk research with the International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) at Tohoku University / Research and development and human resources development in disaster science / Research on earthquake and tsunami risk at an endowed research division named the Earthquake-induced Tsunami Risk Evaluation Field (Tokio Marine & Nichido) /Formulation and implementation of tsunami evacuation programs, and others) Dissemination of information:Local disaster prevention and social contribution activities(Disaster Prevention Lessons、 Natural disaster risk seminar by Tokio Marine & Nichido and the Tokio Marine Research Institute、Supporting the formulation of disaster mitigation and tsunami evacuation plans of regional municipal bodies)、Website and booklets(For Tomorrow’s Smiles: Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Information Website / Clear File Folder for Disaster Prevention) Multi-stakeholder dialogue:In cooperation with The Geneva Association( The Geneva Association’s Extreme Events and Climate Risk (EE+CR) Working Group、Initiatives and events related to climate change risk(ClimateWise: Thought Leadership “The role of insurers in strengthening business resilience to climate risk”、Public symposium of the UNISDR ARISE Network Japan)

Research on Climate Change and Natural Disaster Risk

Building a Society Capable of Adapting to Climate Change and Weather Disaster Risk

By matching forecasts of future changes in risk due to climate change and other meteorological risk assessment approaches to a base of conventional risk assessment approaches, Tokio Marine Group is aiming to create a more advanced approach to climate change and weather disaster risk assessment.

Utilizing Research Outcomes to Provide Products and Services for Adapting to Climate Change

There is a concern that damage concerning natural disasters will increase due to climate change and the resulting greater fluctuations in natural phenomena. Tokio Marine Group is promoting initiatives to resolve weather and other disaster issues and mitigate disaster damage through its business operations. However, as changes in climate and fluctuations in natural phenomena increase, using only the past disaster and insured contingency data may prevent appropriate weather disaster risk assessment and may reduce our ability to provide insurance products and services covering weather disaster risk to customers and local communities as we have done previously.

In response, Tokio Marine Group seeks to promote research on climate change and weather disaster risk in collaboration with the world’s leading scientists and researchers and to use research outcomes and other various findings broadly to the benefit of society. Simultaneously, as a corporate group engaging in the insurance business, we intend to translate our research activities into the ability to sustainably provide insurance products and related services to customers and local communities.

Tokio Marine Group will continue to forge ahead with research on climate change and natural disaster risk with the world’s leading scientists and researchers through industry-academia collaboration and proactively leverage knowledge gained through such research.

Joint Research with The University of Tokyo: Forecasting Future Changes in Typhoon Risk Using Climate Model Data

  • With the aim of forecasting future changes in typhoon risk due to global warming, the Tokio Marine Research Institute is undertaking joint research with The University of Tokyo using an originally developed stochastic typhoon model that estimates future changes in typhoons. In addition, we are also making efforts to formulate short-term forecasts of the number of typhoon occurrences.
  • The Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute at The University of Tokyo, our partner in this joint research, has been conducting research into climate change and other climate systems using an integrated analysis of observation data and results of simulations based on climate models. Professor Masahide Kimoto and other researchers have contributed as lead authors to the creation of the IPCC assessment reports, which are a compilation of the latest findings on climate change, and The University of Tokyo has received acclaim from around the world for the widely used research results.
  • The charts below show estimates of the impact of global warming on typhoons based on climate change forecast data from institutions worldwide, using the stochastic typhoon model. These charts indicate the possibility that future typhoons will take more eastward tracks and will become stronger. In addition to evaluating the impact of global warming on typhoons, we are conducting research for formulating short-term forecasts of the number of occurrences of typhoons and other climate phenomena.

The charts at the bottom show warming differentials. Of these, in the charts showing typhoon generation and tracks, blue represents locations where typhoons will decrease in the future, and red represents locations where they will increase. Also, in the chart showing central atmospheric pressure, blue represents locations where central atmospheric pressure will decrease in the future.

Joint Research with Nagoya University: Typhoon and Precipitation Simulation Using High Spatial Resolution Models

  • With the aim of analyzing how climate phenomenon such as typhoons, rapidly growing atmospheric depressions and localized torrential downpours are changing along with climate change, the Tokio Marine Research Institute is performing joint research with Nagoya University as part of efforts to promote research on future natural disaster risk, with particular focus on changes in precipitation amounts.
  • An accurate understanding of problems surrounding environmental changes in the hydrosphere and atmosphere calls for research from an integrated perspective involving physics, chemistry, biology and other sciences. The Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research at Nagoya University, our partner in this joint research, conducts diversified research into the processes in water cycle systems. As part of this research, Nagoya University Professor Kazuhisa Tsuboki has developed a high spatial resolution model able to perform detailed simulation of clouds and precipitation, and is advancing research into the structure and mechanisms of heavy rain, typhoons, tornadoes and other phenomena.
  • In 2015, heavy rain that hit the Kanto and Tohoku regions caused enormous damage along the Kinugawa River that runs through the Kanto region. The charts below show the results using Nagoya University’s high spatial resolution model to simulate rainfall. Comparing the chart on the left showing the simulation results and the chart on the right showing the actual observed rainfall amounts, we can see that the simulation has recreated the actual heavy rain very accurately. The results also reveal that global warming in the future will likely cause an increase in the number of heavy rainfall events that may result in large-scale disasters. We will continue to promote research on how precipitation volume will be affected if global warming proceeds in the future.

Joint Research with Kyoto University: Assessment of Water Disaster Risk under Future Climate Conditions

  • The Tokio Marine Research Institute is engaging in joint research with Kyoto University with the aim of quantitatively assessing changes in water disaster risk under future climate conditions. By also leveraging know-how for estimating precipitation volume under future climate conditions, which has been gained through joint research with Nagoya University, we are developing methods to assess water disaster risk under future climatic conditions.
  • The Disaster Prevention Research Institute and the Graduate School of Engineering at Kyoto University have top-class researchers in the area of water disaster risk, including Professor Eiichi Nakakita and Professor Yasuto Tachikawa. They have developed a river flow volume model for Japan’s rivers, using such factors as rainfall totals as well as short-term rainfall amounts to simulate and forecast river flow volume following rain.
  • In 2011, Typhoon No. 15 (Typhoon Roke) caused massive damage in areas along the Arakawa River. Below, the chart on the left shows the results of a simulation assuming that the typhoon had caused a flood in the Arakawa River middle basin. The chart on the right simulates the same flood but with 1.5 times higher total river flow volume under future climate conditions. It shows wider water-immersed surface areas and deeper water immersion than the chart on the left. In fiscal 2017, we plan to advance our research into stochastic assessment of the economic impact upon the occurrence of a flood in a river in Vietnam under future climate conditions.

Research Presentations at Academic Societies and Other Gatherings

We will publicize the results of the above joint research to a broad audience through presentations at academic and other conferences.

  • Since fiscal 2008, we have been continually announcing the results of joint research with The University of Tokyo and Nagoya University, respectively, at the Meteorological Society of Japan (twice a year).
  • Since fiscal 2013, we have been announcing the results of joint research with Nagoya University and Kyoto University, respectively, at the Japan Society of Hydrology and Water Resources (once a year).
  • The Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS), established to promote geosciences in the Asia-Oceania region, held its annual convention in 2014 in Sapporo. At the convention, we presented the results of our ongoing joint research on water disaster risk with Nagoya University and Kyoto University, respectively.

Takashi Nagano, Chief Researcher
The Tokio Marine Research Institute

Although research on global warming has been undertaken around the world, its climate effects remain largely unknown, and we have not been able to fully clarify its impact on natural disaster risk. Nevertheless, advancements in meteorology as well as in technology have enabled us to gain a better understanding of the state of global warming and its impact on society. With this gradual progress, I intend to continue my study on global warming and contribute to society by giving thought to what we can do and putting ideas into practice.

Building a Society Capable of Reducing and Adapting to Earthquake and Tsunami Risk

In recent years, low-frequency major earthquakes have inflicted serious damage around the world, as seen in the earthquakes in Chile and Northern Sumatra, the earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean, the Great Sichuan Earthquake and the Great East Japan Earthquake. Against this background, Tokio Marine Group brings together the expertise and data gained through its non-life insurance and risk consulting businesses to advance initiatives leading to the safety and security of society.

Earthquake and Tsunami Risk Research in Collaboration with the International Research Institute of Disaster Science at Tohoku University

Image of a tsunami simulation model
Source: IRIDeS, Tohoku University

  • In July 2011, Tokio Marine & Nichido concluded an industry-academia collaborative agreement with Tohoku University and began research and development and human resource development initiatives in disaster science. The initiatives drew upon Tohoku University’s knowledge and data concerning tsunami risk assessment and other areas of disaster science, and Tokio Marine & Nichido’s knowledge and data concerning earthquake and tsunami risk accumulated through its insurance business.
  • At Tohoku University, our partner in this collaborative research, the International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) and an endowed research division named the Earthquake-induced Tsunami Risk Evaluation Field (Tokio Marine & Nichido) established within IRIDeS have researchers, including Professor and IRIDeS Director Fumihiko Imamura, who are engaging in assessment of earthquake and tsunami risk and activities to promote disaster prevention and mitigation in local communities. To date, we have conducted assessment of actual damage caused by the East Japan Earthquake, assessment of tsunamis following major past earthquakes and research on tsunami risk assessment methods that take into consideration vulnerabilities and disaster readiness capabilities in society both in Japan and overseas. We have also held seminars and developed disaster prevention educational tools to disseminate the knowledge thus obtained widely throughout society.
  • Our activities since April 2012 were selected as a winner of the third Good Practice award in the insurance category at the annual general meeting of the Ministry of the Environment’s Principles for Financial Action for the 21st Century initiative held on March 11, 2015.
  • Below, Chart 1 shows the simulation results of the earthquake-induced tsunami in the Tohoku region in 2011, which hit Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture. This simulation enables us to estimate the distribution of debris and other objects washed ashore and the volume of tsunami deposit, and provides data that is valuable in formulating measures for preventing combined damage as well as post-disaster response plans.
  • Chart 2 provides tsunami hazard maps showing tsunamis that have occurred around the world in the past 400 years. These maps indicate that we need to examine not just past tsunamis but also those that are likely to occur in the future.
  • In March 2017, our research on effects of coastal forests to mitigate tsunami damage, which is being conducted since April 2015, won an outstanding achievement award in the Green Resilience Award category of the Japan Resilience Awards 2017 hosted by the Association for Resilience Japan. Through industry-academia collaboration with Tohoku University as well as collaboration with various industry, government, academia and private-sector stakeholders, Tokio Marine & Nichido will continue to promote efforts to support recovery of disaster-affected areas, increase resilience in local communities and countries across the world and deliver solutions for a safe and secure future.

Chart 1: Simulation of the combined damage in Kesennuma City caused by the earthquake-induced tsunami in the Tohoku region in 2011 (Created by IRIDeS, Tohoku University)

Chart 2: Tsunami hazard maps showing tsunamis that have occurred around the world in the past 400 years (Created by IRIDeS, Tohoku University)

Research Presentations at Academic and Other Conferences
We present and disseminate the results of the above research at academic conferences and symposiums both in and outside Japan. In fiscal 2016, we conducted 14 presentations at academic conferences in Japan and overseas and disseminated information at the First National Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (in Tokyo, August 2016), the Seventh Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (in New Deli, India, November 2016) and the 2017 Sendai Symposium for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Future (in Sendai, March 2017).
Disaster Surveys
We also conduct damage and other surveys and risk assessment when a major disaster strikes in or outside Japan. In June 2016, we conducted a field survey of the damage caused by the Kumamoto earthquakes. Also, in response to the tsunami induced by an earthquake that occurred off the cost of Fukushima Prefecture in November 2016, we conducted a survey on the response of society along with a damage survey. The survey results have been presented in the “The Frontline of Risk Management,” a series of reports published by Tokio Marine & Nichido Risk Consulting, a Tokio Marine Group company.

Summary of Activities to Date

In April 2012, an endowed research division named the Earthquake-induced Tsunami Risk Evaluation Field (Tokio Marine & Nichido) was established within IRIDeS at Tohoku University. This division has been engaging in research on the following topics.

Period Research topic
April 2012 ~ Research into earthquake and tsunami risk assessment
  • Analysis of the wave height distribution and arrival time of tsunamis caused by major past earthquakes, including the Great East Japan Earthquake
  • Research and development of more reliable damage simulations that take into consideration vulnerabilities and disaster readiness capabilities in society both in Japan and overseas and tsunami risk assessment methods that factor in the probability of occurrence
  • Research into tsunami evacuation (e.g., providing basic information for disaster mitigation planning of coastal areas and cooperating in formulation of tsunami evacuation plans of regional municipal bodies
April 2015 ~
  • Research on effects of coastal forests to mitigate tsunami damage
  • Research on raising the sophistication of tsunami numerical simulation models (encompassing simulations of tsunami-induced flooding, movement of floating objects and movement of soil)
  • Development of a mobile application (to assess the depth of immersion and immersed surface areas of the 2011 tsunami and subsequent damage to fishing boats)
April 2016 ~
  • Research on damage to farming rafts and eelgrass beds caused by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami
  • Research on assessment of global tsunami hazards and risk
  • Research on human damage in past tsunamis

Dissemination of Information

Local Disaster Prevention and Social Contribution Activities

Disaster Prevention Lessons

Making Society Resilient to Natural Disasters > Pre-Disaster Action > Disaster Prevention Lessons

Providing School Disaster Mitigation Awareness Lessons through Tohoku University

Utilizing the lessons learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake, Tokio Marine & Nichido’s endowed research division (Earthquake-induced Tsunami Risk Evaluation Field) established within IRIDeS, Tohoku University, started providing school disaster mitigation awareness lessons for children in fiscal 2014 to build a society resilient to disasters. The lessons have been provided at schools to more than 10,000 children in Japan. The activity is now carried out also in Hawaii, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The lessons translate the knowledge cultivated through disaster science research of IRIDeS into educational materials that describe disaster risk from a scientific viewpoint, yet in a manner easily comprehensible by children. Original group work tools incorporating elements of brain science and cognitive psychology have also been developed and are used as teaching aids. As we surveyed and analyzed changes in children’s awareness, we discovered that there is a regional distinction in basic levels of disaster risk awareness between disaster-prone regions and disaster-free regions. Both groups show similarly higher risk awareness immediately after the lessons, but a decline in awareness over time is greater in the second group than in the first group. In the face of increasing and diversifying disasters, it is essential to provide disaster prevention education on a continuous basis for promoting disaster prevention and mitigation.

At the 2017 Sendai Symposium for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Future, children in Miyagi Prefecture presented their disaster prevention and mitigation efforts for the promotion of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. Children who have received our school disaster mitigation awareness lessons are now leading disaster prevention in their local communities. Among similar initiatives undertaken by universities nationwide, our lessons are unique in that these are social contribution activities covering much greater areas. Tokio Marine Group will continue to collaborate with Tohoku University and facilitate activities to raise children’s disaster prevention awareness.

Natural Disaster Risk Seminar by Tokio Marine & Nichido and the Tokio Marine Research Institute

Making Society Resilient to Natural Disasters > Pre-Disaster Action > Natural Disaster Risk Seminar by Tokio Marine & Nichido and the Tokio Marine Research Institute

Supporting the Formulation of Disaster Mitigation and Tsunami Evacuation Plans of Regional Municipal Bodies

Tokio Marine & Nichido’s endowed research division (Earthquake-induced Tsunami Risk Evaluation Field) established within IRIDeS at Tohoku University in April 2012 has been engaging in research on earthquake and tsunami risk assessment and tsunami evacuation procedures. The division provides its research outcomes as basic information for disaster mitigation planning of coastal areas and cooperates in formulating disaster evacuation plans of regional municipal bodies. Jointly with IRIDeS, the division also promotes such activities as disseminating information and providing recommendations for raising disaster readiness and mitigation for society as a whole.

Website and Booklets

Building a Society with High Disaster Prevention Awareness – For Tomorrow’s Smiles: Disaster Readiness and Mitigation Information Website, and Clear File Folder for Disaster Prevention

Since March 2013, Tokio Marine & Nichido has been operating the “For Tomorrow’s Smiles: Disaster Readiness and Mitigation Information Website” with the aim of contributing to the creation of a secure, safe and sustainable society and providing an opportunity for people to think about disaster readiness and mitigation in their homes.

Utilizing knowledge obtained from joint research through industry-academia collaboration with IRIDeS at Tohoku University, this site uses illustrations, comics and games to offer easily understood explanations of the mechanisms behind “earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, tornadoes, torrential downpours and heavy snowfalls, as well as infectious diseases,” along with such other topics in preparing ourselves for disasters.

In fiscal 2016, we added information on insured contingencies, for which we have been receiving many insurance claims reports, and on volcanoes.

As a result of its joint research with IRIDeS at Tohoku University, Tokio Marine & Nichido has also created the Clear File Folder for Disaster Prevention, which lists emergency goods households should have on hand at all times and specific measures to take in the event of an earthquake or tsunami. The folder is available in three versions, Earthquake, Tsunami and Emergency Goods, and is useful for keeping important documents in case of a disaster. These file folders are distributed during Disaster Prevention Lessons, which are hosted by the company and conducted by employee and agent volunteers at elementary schools, included in Tokio Marine Group’s annual CSR Booklet and used in marketing operations as novelty goods to customers, thereby offering ideas of disaster prevention measures that combine the latest knowledge of a university research institute and an insurance company to the public in an easy-to-understand manner.

Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue

Tokio Marine Group collaborates with insurance companies worldwide to conduct surveys and research into climate change and natural disaster risk and to engage in multi-stakeholder dialogue aimed at reducing and mitigating the risks placed on economic and social life.

The Geneva Association

The Geneva Association: Extreme Events and Climate Risk Working Group

Tokio Marine & Nichido participates in The Geneva Association’s Extreme Events and Climate Risk (EE+CR) Working Group. In collaboration with insurance companies and other participants worldwide, the company is surveying and researching the impacts of climate change and natural disaster risks on the insurance business, economies and society. As one of the EE+CR Working Group’s initiatives, in creating the United Nations’ “Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2013,” Tokio Marine & Nichido assisted with sections concerning the Great East Japan Earthquake, which were included in the “Contribution of the Insurance Industry in Lessening Disaster Risk: Case Study Collection” (May 2013), a report corroborating statements concerning the role of insurance in lessening risk.

Working in collaboration with The Geneva Association’s secretariat, in October 2013 Tokio Marine & Nichido held the Geneva Association’s “Fifth Climate Risk and Insurance Seminar” in Sendai, where it welcomed Margareta Wahlström, the then United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction. On March 16, 2015 Tokio Marine & Nichido also held The Geneva Association’s Public Forum Event, “Insurance as contributors to problem solving and impact reduction,” at the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, which took place once again in Sendai. During the conference, Shuzo Sumi, the then Chairman of the Board of Tokio Marine & Nichido, and Anna Maria D’Hulster, Secretary General of The Geneva Association, along with other members, met with Margareta Wahlström and confirmed that the insurance industry will continue to work together with the United Nations and other organizations under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and contribute to ensuring disaster readiness around the world.

The 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP21) was held from the end of November to early December 2015 in Paris, France. Taking the opportunity of COP21, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and The Geneva Association held the Special Session on Climate Change and the Insurance Sector at the OECD headquarters in Paris on December 3, 2015. From Tokio Marine & Nichido, Masaaki Nagamura, General Manager and Division Head, CSR Division, Corporate Planning Department, joined the session as a panelist and shared some of the findings of a research project undertaken by Tokio Marine Group to forecast typhoon formation under future climate conditions. While explaining our desire to leverage these findings in strengthening society’s resilience in the future, he encouraged stronger government and private sector collaboration in developing countries, which are prone to natural disasters, as well as utilization by governments of the relevant knowledge accumulated by private-sector insurance companies.

Initiatives and Events Related to Climate Change Risk

ClimateWise: Thought Leadership "The role of insurers in strengthening business resilience to climate risk"

Tokio Marine & Nichido is the only insurance company in Asia participating in the U.K.-based ClimateWise climate change initiative. Tokio Marine & Nichido (Chairman at the time Kunio Ishihara), drawing on the experiences of insurance companies following the Great East Japan Earthquake and the flooding in Thailand, put forth a proposal in February 2013 entitled “The role of insurers in strengthening business resilience to climate risk” as an article in the Thought Leadership Series (i.e., a proposal to strengthen the role of the insurance industry with respect to climate change risk) under ClimateWise. Specifically, the recommendation stated that “advance preparation of business continuity planning (BCP) that factors in supply chain risks, along with rapid business recovery planning, are important in creating resilience against future climate change and natural disaster risk; as such, companies (and managers) should leverage the knowledge of insurance companies in addressing these.”

Providing Recommendations to Society in a Public Symposium of the UNISDR ARISE Network Japan Based on “How Businesses Meet the Challenge of Extreme Weather Events”

On March 10, 2017, the UNISDR Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies (ARISE) Network Japan hosted a public symposium in Tokyo on the theme of “How businesses meet the challenge of extreme weather events.” In the first part of the symposium, the Japanese government (Cabinet Office, Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) reported the latest developments in this field. In the second part, members of the ARISE Network Japan delivered presentations on their initiatives. The Tokio Marine Research Institute, serving as a think tank in Tokio Marine Group, gave a lecture on “Modeling flood risks of Arakawa River valley under future climate,” stressed the need to disseminate information on global warming through the promotion of industry-academia collaboration and made recommendations for building a safe, secure and sustainable future.

Providing Recommendations to Society via the First National Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

On August 27 and 28, 2016, the First National Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction was held in Tokyo. On August 27, Tokio Marine & Nichido and IRIDeS at Tohoku University, in collaboration with Tokio Marine & Nichido Risk Consulting, hosted an industry-academia forum entitled “Providing Safety and Security into the Future – Do We Learn from the Lessons of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Other Disasters?” After a keynote presentation by Professor and IRIDeS Director Fumihiko Imamura, representatives from the media, NPOs and companies (BCP experts) and scientists discussed on stage the situation in Japan concerning recent disasters, including the Great East Japan Earthquake, and provided the following recommendations.

  • For deepening knowledge on disasters and increasing response capabilities, industry-academia collaboration should be enhanced further and should assume a leading role, besides providing support to the government, in the field of disaster prevention.
  • In order to implement specific measures to reduce risk based on assessment of natural disaster risk in Japan, it is essential that top leaders of businesses and organizations guide efforts ahead to formulate business continuity plans (BCP) and establish business continuity management (BCM). We must clearly identify how we will respond to risks ahead and accordingly make the necessary investment.
  • We should assign persons to take charge of disaster prevention in each workplace and let them play the central role in responding to future disasters, including passing on the experiences and lessons learned in the past and maintaining and improving disaster prevention awareness. In addition to cultivating practical experience in the areas of risk management and disaster response, we should utilize the existing qualification systems (such as disaster prevention experts certified by the Japan Bousaisi Organization) and set up a career development or promotion system for the persons in charge of disaster prevention.
  • For cultivating greater disaster prevention awareness among citizens, we need to devise ways to communicate past experiences and lessons learned in an easy-to-understand manner by using such means as “The Day-Before Project” (asking disaster victims what they would do to prepare for the disaster if they can go back to the day before the disaster) and “Your Disaster Prevention Notebook” that provides knowledge on disasters and how to respond to them. Dissemination of information in collaboration with the media is also essential.