Taiwan planning regional training hub for disaster prevention

Taipei, Sept. 19 (CNA) Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan said Thursday he hopes to build Taiwan into Asia's largest disaster prevention training center and create a unique industry for the country. "Taiwan has been good at disaster prevention, and that experience should be used to develop the country's disaster prevention industry," Lee said after a recent visit to the United Kingdom and Germany to discuss related matters with foreign experts. With its abundant resources, Taiwan is well-positioned to launch such an initiative, Lee said, citing as examples the country's established institutions and their links with academia. For instance, a 142-hectare emergency service training facility in Jhushan Township, run by the National Fire Agency, is one of the best in Asia, Lee said. The Central Police University (CPU) plans to establish a graduate school of disaster prevention, while the prestigious National Taiwan University (NTU) will contribute relevant resources in the areas of medicine, communication and management, he said. The three entities are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding on the development of the joint training center, according to Lee. Taiwan's development as a regional disaster prevention training hub could also generate profit, which will create favorable conditions for related industries to thrive, he said. The ministry may follow the model used by NTU's Center for Weather Climate and Disaster Research, which trains some 100 experts from China each year, Lee added. Once the initiative is properly implemented, it is likely to meet demand in China and Southeast Asia, he said. Lee said he will solicit input from the National Science Council, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Mainland Affairs Council for the project, but did not mention a budget. (By Liu Li-jung and Lee Hsin-Yin)