Policy Lessons for Japanese Disaster Responses


Mika Shimizu

Asia Pacific Bulletin, No. 121


Washington, D.C.: East-West Center

Publication Date: July 1, 2011
Binding: electronic
Pages: 2
Free Download: PDF


In the wake of the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear power plant failure that devastated large parts of Northeastern Japan, Prime Minister Naoto Kan announced the formation of the Reconstruction Design Council. The aim of this committee is to bring together governors from the affected prefectures with outside experts to implement a reconstruction blueprint. The coming months will be a watershed, not only in physical reconstruction terms, but also in terms of restructuring Japan's "resilience." Mika Shimizu, Visiting Scholar at the East-West Center, argues that the foremost policy lesson from this tripartite disaster centers on "social resilience," which is the ability of local communities to maintain social cohesion and coordinate self-help initiatives in times of great upheaval.

The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the East-West Center or any organization with which the author is affiliated.