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EU-Japan cooperation in the field of earthquake research

Following the Commission's publication in December 1996 of a strategy document on earthquakes, and various high-level contacts with Japan, including a visit there by Mrs. Edith Cresson, Commissioner responsible for research, innovation, education, training and youth (which led...
Following the Commission's publication in December 1996 of a strategy document on earthquakes, and various high-level contacts with Japan, including a visit there by Mrs. Edith Cresson, Commissioner responsible for research, innovation, education, training and youth (which led to an agreement for cooperation between the Commission's Joint Research Centre and the Japanese Building Research Institute on earthquake engineering), the first EU-Japan workshop on seismic risk took place in Chania, Crete, from 24 to 26 March 1998.

The workshop brought together seventeen experts in seismic risk from the EU and nine from Japan. The state-of-the-art in Japan and Europe was presented and discussions resulted in the identification of areas and means for EU-Japan cooperation in the field of seismic risk. These include networks, meetings, the exchange of scientists, and joint research projects.

More specifically, common and mutually agreed research themes to be addressed in the context of the Fifth RTD Framework Programme are as follows:

- Modelling, estimation, analysis and validation of strong ground motion data, taking into account source and site effects;
- Comprehensive and multidisciplinary survey and study of active fault systems;
- Exchange of data and common use of EU and Japanese test sites;
- Survey and study of surface and deeper geological conditions in large urban areas;
- Evaluation of strong motion data for design purposes.

Among the agreed types of cooperation, the following are of particular significance:

- Exchange of information through workshops and seminars, including inviting EU scientists to participate in Japan's annual conference on earthquake research;
- Distribution of reports and newsletters, including an English translation of the Japanese newsletter.
- Joint research projects, enabling, for the first time, all EU researchers to participate in Japanese research projects in this area.

The workshop was organised by the Technical University of Crete jointly with the European Commission (DG XII: Environment and Climate and International Cooperation programmes). A further workshop is planned to be held in Iceland in June 1999.

Source: European Commission, DG XII

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