Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management (AJEDM)

Volume 2 Number 3 (2010)

Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management 2010 2 3

doi: 10.3850/S1793924011000459

From Yokohama Strategy to Hyogo Framework: Sharing the Japanese Experience of Disaster Risk Management

Satoru Nishikawa
Director of Water Resources Policy, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism,
2-1-2 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-8918, Japan.


Japan, due to her geographical location, has been menaced by natural disasters in the course of her history. These bitter experiences urged Japan to develop a holistic approach to disaster risk management and to foster a culture of prevention over the years. There were two epoch-making turning points in recent Japan, the 1959 Ise-wan Typhoon and the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji (Kobe) Earthquake. The Ise-wan Typhoon led to the creation of the Central Disaster Management Council. All the ministries, the semi-public sectors and some private sectors were given responsibilities in the consolidated national effort. This framework proved to be successful in decreasing casualties. Japan saw the importance of sharing these experiences. Thus in 1987, Japan strongly endorsed the idea of the IDNDR. In 1994 Japan hosted the UN World Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction, which adapted the Yokohama Strategy and Plan of Action. One year later, the tragic earthquake hit Kobe. This was the second epoch. Japan strived to further improve her institutional arrangements. In 2005, Japan again hosted the UN World Conference on Disaster Reduction where the Hyogo Framework for Action was adopted. Japan not only the hosted the conference, but substantially contributed to the process and continues to be the leader in the implementation.

Keywords: Central disaster management council, IDNDR, Yokohama strategy, Culture of prevention, Hanshin-awaji earthquake, ISDR, Indian ocean tsunami, WCDR, Hyogo Framework.

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