British Council

Realistic exercise strengthens
disaster preparedness

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities operating in over 100 countries. Newton interviewed Mr. Jeff Streeter, Director Japan, about the BCP tabletop exercise for responding to a large-scale earthquake in Tokyo.


Testing BCP in light of Japan-specific risks

Jeff Streeter, Director Japan

- The British Council has been in operation in Japan since 1953. What are the main objectives of the British Council?

Mr. Streeter: The British Council is the UK’s international organisation which creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. Our main areas of work are English, Education and Arts.


- We are grateful for the opportunity to work with you on your business continuity plan (BCP). What aspects of Newton Consulting were the determining factors when choosing our service?

Mr. Streeter: The types of emergencies vary across countries and regions, and as such we felt the need to prepare for Japan-specific disasters.

Furthermore, we required a practical approach to BCP, not only a set of documents, which could help us deal with critical situations. We also wanted to get a fresh perspective on our BCP preparations, by involving external experts.

After researching our options, we found Newton Consulting to be a suitable candidate to help us improve our BCP, particularly because they could provide training in English.

Providing real solutions for real issues, by realistic means

- We understand the British Council performs regular earthquake drills?

Mr. Streeter: We do perform drills such as building evacuation and initial response activities. They are of great importance.

However, concerning earthquakes, it is not only about how you survive the first five minutes but also about identifying how to respond to the emergency. Also, knowing how to resume business as soon as possible.

- What was the British Council especially interested in covering in this exercise?

Mr. Streeter: We were particularly interested in the simulation of real-life disasters. The participants were placed into a number of emergency scenarios. They had to identify what might happen in emergency circumstances and what types of actions they needed to perform to ensure safety of personnel, assets, and post-disaster business operations.

- How did you feel about our exercise?

Mr. Streeter: My colleagues and I found the exercises really useful and we were all actively engaged.

The exercises provided realistic simulations of actual emergencies and enabled us to see the problems we might face.

Moreover, carrying out the exercises was a good opportunity to see whether we really understand emergency procedures, even basic things such as how to operate satellite phones.

- How would you evaluate our services?

Mr. Streeter: We were satisfied with your services because the exercises were realistic and engaging and we feel better prepared for dealing with emergency situations.

- Thank you for taking the time for this interview.


コンサルタント  永峯 登喜子

Sharing and learning about assumed local damage in a disaster can help employees and make an effective BCP

According to data from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the number of foreign workers in Japan in 2013 reached 720,000 the highest ever recorded. It is always a great challenge for employers to educate and train non-Japanese speaking employees in disaster response.

When we began this project, the client had the following requirements:

Utilize English, the common language in the office, to facilitate the BCP exercise
Improve the understanding of the roles and responsibility of the Crisis Management Team
To meet these requirements, I emphasized using the information provided by the government, which states the possible damage to social infrastructure in an event of a large-scale earthquake. The basic policy is to urge people to stay in safe areas for a few days after the disaster. Specifically, compiling and providing a realistic image of a post-earthquake situation was key in the project. The Crisis Management Team cannot function effectively without understanding what is required in a situation where phones or electricity are not available.

Throughout this project, I reconfirmed the importance of providing information on potential local damage to non-Japanese speaking employees. Because information about earthquake response is in a large part only available in Japanese, non-Japanese speakers have difficulty gathering sufficient information. When global companies and associations localize their global BCP policies, it is essential to include information on assumed local damage.

I am happy to have assisted the British Council and the BCP table top exercise by referring to the information provided by the government. I believe their Crisis Management Team will be effective in their response to a disaster.


Organization Name British Council
Address 1-2 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-0825
Established 1953
Representative Jeff Streeter, Director Japan
Scope of Business The British Council works in the Arts, English and Education

(as of March, 2014)



Director Japan

Mr. Jeff Streeter


取締役副社長 兼 プリンシパルコンサルタント

勝俣 良介


永峯 登喜子