Building my kizuna with Rotary and Japan

By Rotary International

Flanigan and ICU students

Mark Flanigan (back row third from right) with Ambassador Motohide Yoshikawa during a program for ICU students in New York City in July.

By Mark Flanigan, Program Director, Japan ICU Foundation, and a 2010-12 Rotary Peace Fellow at ICU, Tokyo

When I arrived at International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo as a new Rotary Peace Fellow in the summer of 2010, I had no idea it would be the beginning of an ongoing relationship with both the University and Rotary.

I had lived in Japan before through the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program and as a U.S. Army veteran, and was happy to return almost a decade later, thanks to Rotary.

2011 tsunami
My initial peace fellow research focused on Japan’s role in UN Peacekeeping, but changed after the terrible triple-disaster on 11 March, 2011. I volunteered in the disaster recovery efforts in northeast Japan and shifted the focus of my work on Japan’s contributions to both domestic and international disaster response. My thesis analyzed how Japan’s civilian and military agencies coordinated with international partners during earthquakes in Sumatra in 2005, Haiti in 2010, and Japan in 2011. I found that Japan improved its response times, search and rescue capabilities, and collaboration each time.

I …read more

Source:: Rotary International Blog

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