March 5, 2012
Almost a year since a magnitude-9.0 earthquake struck Japan, Nissan undertook its annual disaster-prevention drills. Nissan Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga and Senior Vice President Hitoshi Kawaguchi discussed the company’s risk management with the Global Media Center.
Q1. How did previous emergency drills help in the immediate aftermath of last year’s March 11 disasters?
COO Shiga: Just before March 11 last year we also conducted the same type of training drill as we’re doing today. The assumptions were almost the same. All of the functions understood what they should do in the face of a big disaster.
Through these kinds of training, it is quite important for everyone to understand “what we should do now” when confronted with a disaster.
Q2. What are the key objectives of this year’s emergency drill?
SVP Kawaguchi: Well, last March we had quite a large natural disaster, the great earthquake of Tohoku. There have been a lot of things learned and that’s something we have to test this time. We’ve learned hundreds of things across the functions and that’s something we’re going to test.
Q3. How do you ensure Nissan is always in a state of preparedness?
COO Shiga: I think you know Nissan is conducting this type of simulation every year and we are expanding the assumption of the disasters. At the beginning, [the simulation] was of a very small earthquake. That gradually expanded until today, [where we’re assuming] a very big earthquake and tsunami.
Always, we’re minimizing [the impact of] the unexpected event. This is to prepare… It’s important to train for this kind of disaster and, after an unfortunate event occurs, to take quick action to help people, to rescue people from disaster areas and also to restart and restore operations.
Q4. Are there plans to introduce emergency drills globally?
SVP Kawaguchi: Nissan is very much well-designed for risk management and within this risk management, especially for natural disasters, we have three criteria. One is preventative actions; another is initial actions once a disaster happens; and then restoration after the disaster.
These steps require a lot of good knowledge and knowledge from experience as well. That’s something that should be shared with the various regions and that’s something we carry out. Anti-seismic tests are being done in various places – that’s not only various places in Japan but in various regions.
Deputy Editor, Global Media Center