Eighteen invited engineers and researchers from the U.S. joined their Japanese counterparts October 27-30, 2003 in Tsukuba, Japan for the 19th annual event sponsored by UNJR Panel on Wind and Seismic Effects. It was organized by the Public Works Research Institute’s Jiro Fukui, PWRI and David Sanders, University of Nevada at Reno. Chairman of the Japan side was Hiroshi Sato, PWRI and for the U.S., W. Phillip Yen, FHWA.
Though the main focus of the conference was seismic engineering, there were also numerous presentations on bridge maintenance, construction, and materials. Upon conclusion of the plenary sessions, participants were given an opportunity to share experiences and suggest means of future collaboration.
After the formal meetings, a study tour was arranged that allowed U.S. representatives
the opportunity to get a close-up inspection of several long span structures,
which are a source of great pride for the Japanese. These bridges are a critical
part of the transportation system in a country comprised of four separate
islands in a highly seismically active region of the world. Both sides anxiously
await the 20th anniversary convocation, which will be held in Washington,
D.C. in October 2004.