In Times of Crisis: Global and Local Civil-Military Disaster Relief Coordination in the United States and Japan

Last updated January 01, 2009

The In Times of Crisis project was a multi-year joint effort of IFPA and the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) at Osaka University, together with scholars in Japan, and with the support from the Japan Foundation’s Center for Global Partnership (CGP).

The study focused on improving the ability of the United States and Japan to pool civilian and military resources and to respond together (bilaterally or as part of a broader coalition) in support of host nations and international relief agencies to alleviate suffering and to speed recovery from a crisis. Timely response requires continuous planning and communication, which in turn relies on strong personal and institutional relationships between the two countries and with other partners. The project was designed to strengthen and diversify these relationships so as to be better prepared, to respond more efficiently, and to improve over time as the individuals and organizations involved incorporate lessons from shared experiences such as those discussed in the report.

Findings from the first half of the project suggested that U.S.-Japan military-to-military interactions and parallel civilian-to-civilian interactions are likely to be much more productive than trying to integrate civil-military dialogues and policies across the alliance. These ideas were presented and discussed at a bilateral workshop held in Tokyo in fall 2008, which further informed a concluding monograph completed in 2009. The monograph explains the project team’s findings and presents ways to improve the allies’ ability to effectively pool civilian and military resources and to respond together (bilaterally or as part of a broader coalition) in support of host nations and international relief agencies to speed recovery in times of crisis.