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IAC News No.127, May 2023

Japan Society of Civil Engineers  International Activities Center May 10, 2023  IAC News No.127

TC21 Special Session at CECAR 9 and TDA Field Survey in the Philippines

TC21, the 21st Technical Committee of the Asian Civil Engineering Coordinating Council (ACECC), shared and practiced the concept of TDA with the aim of building societal resilience to disasters through a transdisciplinary approach (TDA). During the first period (2016 to 2019) of these activities, ACECC conducted a report at CECAR 8 (8th Civil Engineering Conference in Asian Region) in Tokyo in April 2019 and published its report* in the form of an e-book.

*Activity Report (2016-2019), ISBN: 978-4-8106-1014-7, http://www.acecc-world.org/TC21/

This is a report on TC21’s (Transdisciplinary Approach for Building Societal Resilience to Disasters) efforts during fiscal 2022 in which it held a special session both online and in person as part of CECAR 9 (9th Civil Engineering Conference in Asian Region) in Goa, India in September 2022 and carried out a TDA field survey in Leyte, the Philippines.

1. Overview of Involvement in CECAR 9

At CECAR 9 in fiscal 2022, TC21 held a special session called: Six years of activity of TC21 and statement from the members for future DRR. During this session, five panelist members were invited by the Asian Civil Engineering Coordinating Council (ACECC), and TC21 presented its activities over the last six years with a focus on TDA, as well as discussed the future outlook of TDA.
An award ceremony was held on the second evening of CECAR 9, with TC21 picking up the ACECC TC Award. On behalf of TC21, Chairperson Mikio Ishiwatari was presented with a commemorative trophy.

2. Survey to Verify Disaster Reconstruction Efforts in Tacloban and Ormoc in the Philippines

From February 5 to February 12, 2023, a post-reconstruction field survey was conducted in Tacloban and Ormoc in the Philippines. More specifically, municipal government employees, local residents, and citizens' groups were interviewed (in Ormoc, a courtesy visit was made to the mayor) and efforts were carried out to check the areas where local residents had been relocated to as well as to collect information.

While nine years have passed since Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, Tacloban faces difficulties in acquiring land for relocation and in installing public utilities. We confirmed that relocation efforts have still not been completed and cases where relocation efforts were carried out without the municipal government’s development approval due to a lack of cooperation and coordination between the national government and the municipal government, resulting in relocation sites not suitable for development being selected.

In Ormoc, which suffered damage due to Typhoon Uring in 1999, the banks and slit dams built with support from Japan continue to function. However, we confirmed that the city has faced difficulties in cracking down on illegal construction and expansion of houses along embankment roads during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some of the details of the survey were reported at the TC21 Special Session during the 3rd World Bosai Forum held on March 10, 2023, and there are plans to present papers on the survey going forward.

3. Future Activities

TC21 has been active for six years and it has now been granted permission by ACECC to prolong its activities for a further three years. As for the next fiscal year, in addition to plans to publish a special TDA issue of the Journal of Disaster Research, a Special Session at the ACECC Executive Committee Meeting in Taiwan is set for September, as well as field survey research overseas (Nepal, the Philippines, and Malaysia are possible candidates). Through these activities, we intend to continue to undertake efforts to promote TDA and build greater resilience against disasters.
Note that various information including the work of TC21’s efforts is published on the following websites.

To finish, I would like to mention that the transportation costs for CECAR 9 and the costs of the TC21 field survey in the Philippines were subsidized by the JSCE International Scientific Exchange Fund Charitable Trust. I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the trust for its support and assistance. I hope that we continue to receive advice and cooperation from a broad range of people.


TC21 Special Session Program


TC21 Special Session at CECAR 9

Field Survey in the Philippines


【Reported by Masashi Inoue, Secretary-General, TC21 Domestic Support Committee 
(Eight-Japan Engineering Consultants Inc.)】

10th Joint Company Information Session for International Students (Online)

Ji Dang
(International Student Network Group, IAC)

Since 2013, the International Student Network Group of the International Activities Center has, for the purpose of providing information on the businesses of Japanese civil engineering companies, overseas projects, and recruitment, held a company information session for international students studying in Japan. The event has been held every year in Tokyo and every other year in the Kansai area. This Tenth Company Information Session for International Students was held on Saturday, December 10, 2022, in collaboration with the IAC International Engineers Group and the Global Civil Engineer Research Subcommittee of the Consultants Committee. The event was held online as it was last year. A total of 129 international students from universities all across Japan and 13 Japanese companies participated on the day. The companies that took part are as follows.

  [Participating companies]
  Eight-Japan Engineering Consultants Inc., HAZAMA ANDO CORPORATION, 
  Katahira & Engineers International, Kochi Marutaka Co., Ltd., NEWJEC Inc., 

The Joint Company Information Session was held in three parts: the (1) Opening Session, the (2) Company Sessions, and the (3) “Senpai” Sessions. In the first part, the Opening Session, the purpose of the Company Information Session was explained during the opening remarks, and then Ms. Catherine Kariuki (Nippon Koei Co., Ltd.) and Ms. Xuening Guo (NIPPON ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS CO., LTD.), who play a key role at a Japanese construction consultancy company respectively, gave a talk entitled “Senpai’s Experience in Studying and Working in Japan”, in which they discussed topics such as research activities at Japanese universities, job hunting, and work after joining a company. This was followed by a “1-minute pitch” segment where the representatives of each participating company gave an outline of their company and the contents of their company session held in Part 2.

In the second part, from 14:00 to 17:15, each participating company held Company Sessions in the form of a web meeting for 20 minutes per session. In the Company Sessions, information was provided on topics such as the contents of work, introductions to overseas projects, and recruitment.

After the Company Sessions drew to a close, Senpai Sessions were held by former international students who have landed themselves a job in Japan. The 10 former international students that helped make the Senpai Sessions a success were the aforementioned Ms. Kariuki and Ms. Guo, as well as Mr. Shrestha Ashishi (Hazama Ando Corporation), Mr. Amirfarkhan Bin Radzali (Nishimatsu Construction Co., Ltd.), Ms. Luisa Santa Spitia (Hazama Ando Corporation), Mr. Cuiping Liu (Asunaro Aoki Construction Co., Ltd.), Mr. Jaehong Huang (Obayashi Corporation), Associate Professor Ms. Ying Cui (Yokohama National University), Mr. Edalo Serge (Nippon Engineering Consultants Co., Ltd.), and Mr. Jonathan Gonzales (Nippon Engineering Consultants Co., Ltd.). The Senpai Sessions provided a platform for former international students to share their invaluable insights and experiences as seniors, shedding light on the preparations they undertook and essential skills they acquired while hunting for a job in Japan. Participatns eagerly asked their seniors questions, sparking passionate discussions.

The International Student Network Group will continue to provide information about Japanese companies and strive to create fantastic opportunities for international studies by collaborating with former international students working at Japanese companies.

Lastly, I would like to introduce a community event that will be held by the International Civil Engineers Group of the International Activities Center. On May 13, 2023, the International Civil Engineers Group will hold the second “Salon for International Civil Engineers and Students in Japan” online. This community event, entitled “Finding a Job in Japan as a Foreign Engineer: Challenges and Solutions”, will see former international students, who are now engineers or researchers working at Japanese companies, share the issues, struggles, and challenges they faced in seeking employment. I thoroughly encourage international engineers and students who are considering getting a job at a Japanese company to attend this event.

Find out more by visiting this webpage (https://committees.jsce.or.jp/kokusai/node/334).


Presentation by Ms. Xuening Guo

The 2nd Salon for International Civil Engineers and Students in Japan

【Reported by Ji Dang, International Student Network Group (Saitama University)】



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