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Coping with Disaster Risk Management in Northeast Asia: Economic and Financial Preparedness in China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-093-8

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Masayuki Murayama and Lloyd Burton

Myth is a story of archetypical personas who behave in ways and with motives that we recognize in ourselves. We use myth as a way of reminding ourselves of the…

Abstract

Myth is a story of archetypical personas who behave in ways and with motives that we recognize in ourselves. We use myth as a way of reminding ourselves of the relationship between motives, actions, and consequences. Myths can serve either as inspirational or cautionary tales, and sometimes as both. But “myth” can also mean a fabricated story intended to create a false impression, and to achieve storytellers’ ends when they have decided the truth will not suffice. We apply the myth of Cassandra to the millennium-long recorded history of giant tsunamis in Japan. After each of these catastrophes, survivors sought to warn future generations of their recurrences. But, each time, their progeny eventually lost the memory of these lessons, and lost their lives when the next monster wave overwhelmed them. Only when they kept the lessons as living knowledge in everyday life, could they manage to escape from monster tsunamis. In this chapter, we use the myth of Cassandra in conjunction with the myth of Prometheus, the bringer of fire to humankind, as a metaphor for Japan’s growing reliance on nuclear power. Government and utility companies built powerful but inherently dangerous cauldrons in the nation’s disaster-prone landscapes, assuring the public they could control the fire’s fury and defend it against nature’s. As images of atomic bomb victims were still vivid and widely shared in Japan, they had to overcome the public fear of radioactivity by fabricating a “myth of safety.” The nuclear disaster made the public distrust the government and utility companies, which lingers in the process of reconstruction from the disaster. Myths can either reveal hidden truths or mask hidden lies. The Japanese people must now learn to distinguish one from the other.

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Special Issue Cassandra’s Curse: The Law and Foreseeable Future Disasters
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-299-3

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Rajib Shaw and Shohei Matsuura

Schools play an important role in Japan by becoming evacuation centers after disasters. Depending on the nature of disaster, the school can be occupied for several days to…

Abstract

Schools play an important role in Japan by becoming evacuation centers after disasters. Depending on the nature of disaster, the school can be occupied for several days to several months. Therefore, schools play a crucial role in disaster risk reduction and can contribute to very strong bonding with the local communities. This chapter describes the experiences of six cities with the roles of schools during disasters. Kamaishi, Kesennuma, and Natori, three cities affected by the tsunami, have shown the important role that schools played in the time of disaster. Although some schools were destroyed in these three cities, people spent significant time in other schools as evacuees. Pre-disaster preparedness of schools and communities helped a lot in this regard. Taking the experiences from the East Japan disaster, Saijo, Owase, and Oobu cities in West Japan demonstrated their preparedness for future disaster. The chapter also shows that school-centered disaster preparedness before the disaster leads to an effective role during the disaster and also facilitates post-disaster recovery with schools as the center.

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Risks and Conflicts: Local Responses to Natural Disasters
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-821-1

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Article

Elizabeth Maly and Eiko Ishikawa

This paper aims to consider the current situation of relocation in Japan after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) in the context of past examples and

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to consider the current situation of relocation in Japan after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) in the context of past examples and post-disaster housing relocation projects in other countries.

Design/methodology/approach

Information about international cases of post-disaster housing relocation was gathered though desk and literature review, supplemented by field visits to the sites for direct observation and interviews with people involved in the relocation projects.

Findings

To be successful, residential relocation must consider livelihood, especially in regards to location. Involvement of the residents in the planning and decision making process creates housing relocation projects that better meet residents’ needs. Japan faces some unique challenges, yet shares commonalities with other countries, for example, in tsunami-stricken fishing areas. Housing relocation in Tohoku must strive to be accountable to the needs of the residents and the specific contexts of their communities.

Originality/value

There is still a limited amount of literature in English that considers the issues of relocation in recovery after the GEJE in an international context, especially comprehensive comparisons with multiple countries. Although this paper does not deal with each international case in great detail, the comparison provides a good overview of the key issues for residents in post-disaster relocation, and suggests how lessons from international cases could be applied to the challenges that Japan currently faces in relocation planning in the Tohoku region.

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International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

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Article

Tadashi Nakasu, Yuichi Ono and Wiraporn Pothisiri

Using the forensic investigation (FORIN) approach, the purpose of this paper is to identify the factors that exacerbated the loss of human life in one of the most…

Abstract

Purpose

Using the forensic investigation (FORIN) approach, the purpose of this paper is to identify the factors that exacerbated the loss of human life in one of the most devastated local municipalities on the coast by 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (GEJET) disaster.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper begins by reviewing the extent of damage to the local municipalities along the Sanriku ria coast, which has a long history of tsunami disasters. Second, the paper compares previous major tsunami events by using a human vulnerability index, and applies this index to detect the city of Rikuzentakata. Third, the paper identifies the root causes of the GEJET disaster in the city. Interview records with disaster victims were used to elucidate the main factors that exacerbated the number of deaths.

Findings

The study indicates that the FORIN approach can be effectively applied to identify the target city for this case study and to point to those factors the most exacerbated human sufferings, and also provides many lessons based on research findings and methodologies to support building resilient societies in the future.

Originality/value

This paper indicates FORIN approach as an effective research template by investigating the GEJET disaster.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Book part

Takashi Tsuji

Citizen participation has attracted attention in the context of decentralization. In a disaster reconstruction process, a business plan for reconstruction can be modified…

Abstract

Citizen participation has attracted attention in the context of decentralization. In a disaster reconstruction process, a business plan for reconstruction can be modified in line with diversified situations of disaster-affected areas by citizen participation. In Japan, the central government makes a decision about the authority in charge of an overall disaster reconstruction and the budget planning, whereas local governments are in charge of creating and implementing a business plan for reconstruction of each local municipality. Therefore, local governments play an important role in organizing citizen participation to realize the reconstruction that fits reality. It has yet to be shown as decentralization reform and citizen participation system in Japan produce the socio-spatial inequality after the Great East Japan Earthquake. However, it remains to be elucidated how local government and community have to operate the institution about citizen participation during the disaster reconstruction process. I have been doing fieldwork on three tsunami-affected sites in Miyagi Prefecture over past 4 years: Onagawa Town, Higashimatsushima City, and Natori City. I have investigated the social processes of making and implementing a reconstruction plan, and citizen participation. The findings from my fieldwork are as follows: First, citizen participation is based on organizing residents at the community level. Second, traditional community organization (such as neighborhood organization abd industrial associations) contribute to organize residents especially in the emergency phase. Third, as the disaster phase moves, local government and community organization need to change the previous participation frame to ensure residents representation and policy legitimacy.

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Recovering from Catastrophic Disaster in Asia
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-296-5

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Article

Hirokazu Iemura, Yoshikazu Takahashi, Mulyo Harris Pradono, Pariatmono Sukamdo and Rudi Kurniawan

The paper aims to study the effects of the tsunami that affected Banda Aceh in 2004.

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to study the effects of the tsunami that affected Banda Aceh in 2004.

Design/methodology/approach

During a survey by Japanese researchers in Banda Aceh and surrounding areas in Indonesia after the great Sumatra earthquake, questionnaires were distributed to the people affected by the earthquake and tsunami. The purpose of the questionnaires was to collect information of what happened and what were expected by the affected people to be safe against future earthquake and tsunami. The questionnaires consisted of questions asking their experience during and after the earthquake and tsunami.

Findings

One important result of the questionnaires shows that even if people had started running away just after the big earthquake, the percentage of expected survivors would have been less than 100 percent.

Originality/value

The paper shows that education, socialization (software) and escape structures, warning system, wave resisting structures (hardware) are important factors for people to be safer against future earthquake and tsunami attacks.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Book part

Tomoko Kubo, Toshiki Yamamoto, Michihiro Mashita, Misao Hashimoto, Konstantin Greger, Tom Waldichuk and Keisuke Matsui

Drawing on a case study in Hitachi City, Ibaraki prefecture, this chapter aims to analyze the relationship between community support and the behavior of residents after…

Abstract

Drawing on a case study in Hitachi City, Ibaraki prefecture, this chapter aims to analyze the relationship between community support and the behavior of residents after the Tohoku Pacific Earthquake in the regions affected by the disaster. The chapter will examine residents’ behavior and the community’s roles by way of the following process: (1) We will review Japan’s natural disaster prevention regimes; (2) we will examine the result of a field survey conducted in Hitachi City detailing the city’s natural disaster prevention procedures and the operation of some neighborhood evacuation sites; (3) the behavior of residents following the earthquake is analyzed. In this part, questionnaires were sent to 2000 households, of which 492 (24.6%) were collected and used for this analysis. The earthquake and tsunami destroyed lifelines such as water supply for several days in the city. According to the city, a total of 65 buildings were judged to be in dangerous condition, 251 as requiring care, and 478 were only partially damaged. The most serious damage was found mainly in the city’s coastal areas, where a total of 85 houses were entirely or partly damaged, and 483 houses were flooded above the floorboards by the tsunami. On March 11, a total of 69 evacuation sites opened, and 13,607 residents rushed into them. After the disaster, residents initially tried to go back to their homes. Depending on the damage done, they either stayed there or moved to a relative’s or friend’s house, or to a neighborhood evacuation site. Due to the failure of the lifelines, transportation systems, and the damage caused by the disaster, most residents had to stay within an area more limited than usual, around which they could walk or ride by bicycle. Residents had only the human and physical resources of their neighborhoods. Therefore, the characteristics of their local communities affected how residents behaved during and after the earthquake.

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Risks and Conflicts: Local Responses to Natural Disasters
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-821-1

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Book part

Yingying Sun

This chapter focuses on the experiences and processes of earthquake recovery to discuss the general state of disaster recovery in Japan. In this way, it is expected that…

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the experiences and processes of earthquake recovery to discuss the general state of disaster recovery in Japan. In this way, it is expected that the outcome and discussion can provide effective insights for both domestic and international disaster-related efforts. First, the characteristics of natural disasters in Japan are summarized using statistical data. Quantitative and qualitative methods are flexibly used to analyze published data, materials, and semistructured interview data. Published data and materials are collected from various sources. Interview data were gained from diverse interviewees. Then, four case studies of earthquake recovery are introduced and the application of their recovery experiences to future disaster risk reduction is proposed. Finally, conclusions have been drawn from these case studies to show the practical influence of disaster-recovery experiences to regions that are currently experiencing or are likely to experience natural disasters in the future. More specifically, the chapter illustrates what challenges and influences past earthquakes can have on our present preparedness against a Nankai Trough Earthquake, which is predicted to occur in the near future.

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Recovering from Catastrophic Disaster in Asia
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-296-5

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Article

Abel Táiti Konno Pinheiro and Akihiko Hokugo

This paper aims to investigate the effectiveness of early warning and community cooperation for evacuation preparedness from mega-risk type coastal hazard in childcare…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the effectiveness of early warning and community cooperation for evacuation preparedness from mega-risk type coastal hazard in childcare centers, focusing in the evacuation of childcare centers from tsunami at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11, 2011.

Design/methodology/approach

As the research method, surveys were conducted in public childcare centers affected by tsunami in Kesennuma city in Miyagi Prefecture and Kamaishi city in Iwate Prefecture.

Findings

As the main findings, facilities, where teachers and children started evacuation immediately after the earthquake, could have more conditions to get cooperation from the local community to evacuate children in wide-scale urban environment. Children 3-5 years old tended to be instructed to walk two abreast under the lead of teachers, and children 0-2 years old tended to be carried by the piggyback ride and multi-passenger baby strollers. The destination of evacuation needed to be changed several times because of the risks for higher tsunami and fire outbreaks.

Research limitations/implications

As future issues, it is necessary to analyze the walking capability of children and the transportation capability of multi-passenger baby strollers by teachers, to address strategies to quantify the necessary community cooperation based on the severity of early warning.

Originality/value

Most of the past studies regarding disaster preparedness of nursery children are limited within the facility in case of fire. This work has importance as it focused on the emergency responses that require urban-scale evacuation in ascending route that differ from that which are required in the case of fire.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

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