Source: Government of Japan – Prime Minister
On July 4, 2020, the Prime Minister held the first Ministerial Meeting on the Heavy Rain from July 3 at the Prime Minister’s office.
Based on the discussion, the Prime Minister said,
“A strong seasonal rain front has brought record precipitation to the Kyushu region, with heavy rain emergency warnings issued in Kumamoto and Kagoshima Prefectures at 4:50 this morning. Already, the Kuma River has burst its banks and a number of landslide disasters have occurred. There have also been reports that some people may have gotten caught in landslides. In response to this heavy rain, the government is making its utmost efforts to assess the damages and respond to the emergency in coordination with local governments, putting people’s lives above all else.
Currently, we have dispatched not only police, firefighters, and Japan Coast Guard units but also Self-Defense Forces (SDF) units. They are conducting rescue and relief activities, searching for missing people and providing guidance to evacuees. In the Kyushu region, heavy rains may continue intermittently into July 5, making it critical for everyone to continue to maintain the highest degree of vigilance. In light of this, the SDF will prepare for further emergency responses at a scale of 10,000 personnel, pressing forward with highly agile responses that cover all bases.
Those living in Kumamoto and Kagoshima Prefectures and other areas where heavy rain emergency warnings have been issued should continue to pay close attention to evacuation advisories from local authorities and be careful to take early actions that will protect their own lives.
Today, I dispatched Minister Takeda, minister in charge of disaster management, to the affected area. By doing so, we will take all possible measures with him in response to the disaster. I ask all those present in this meeting to continue to provide information regarding evacuation, the status of heavy rains and rivers to the public in a timely and accurate way. In the areas where damage has occurred, I want the government to work in close coordination with local governments and unite as one in making all-out efforts to respond to the emergency, with human life as the highest priority. In addition, I ask that necessary supplies be provided proactively to the evacuation centers opened in various locations without waiting for requests from them, giving sufficient consideration also to measures to counter the novel coronavirus disease.”