Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management (AJEDM)

Volume 3 Number 2 (2011)

Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management 2011 3 2

doi: 10.3850/S1793924011000666


Akihiko Akamatsu
Vice President, Kyoto University

Kyoto University was founded in 1897 as a national institution, emphasizing research rather than the education of future government officials. Resonating perhaps with that initial tone, our university has been known for its historical commitment to `academic freedom and dialogue' for originality and creativity, and for producing unique intellectuals in diverse academic disciplines. The spirit behind this commitment has encouraged a thriving tradition of Kyoto scholars' pioneering research in various real sites ranging from the wild to the urban as well as in laboratories, where a long line of scholars have looked for what is unwritten in books, reconsidered their preconceptions and created new ideas and vocabularies.

Taiwan and Japan being islands are prone to similar types of hazards. Although the socio-economic condition and administrative structures might differ, there are strong need and possibilities of mutual learning from developing effective risk communication strategy. Over years, Japan faces natural disasters and different communities in Japan have developed its coping mechanisms and resilience. This is not done by the government efforts only, but a collective endeavor of different stakeholders, from community to government to academics to private agencies.

This special volume is the output of strong collaboration between Kyoto University and National Yunlin University of Science and Technology. Over years, Kyoto University has contributed to this important issue of disaster risk reduction through innovative education and research in different graduate schools, including the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies and Disaster Prevention Research Institutes (DPRI).

I am happy to see the high quality of the papers presented in the special volume, and hope that it will be a significant contribution to this important disciple.