Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management (AJEDM)

Volume 4 Number 2 (2012)

doi: 10.3850/S1793924012001101

Improvements and Challenges of Japanese Disaster Management System

Yuki Matsuokaa and Rajib Shawbb
Graduate School of Global Environment Studies, Kyoto University, Yoshida Honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto, 606-8501, Japan


The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the Japanese Disaster Management System which has been improved through its long history of fighting against disasters by learning frompast experiences. The GreatHanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995 provided Japan with a major turning point and significant lessons for improving its disaster management system. Several issues emerged upon the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. Revisions and improvements made in the Japanese Disaster Management System were reviewed and described in this paper. Together within the review, Japanese national biennial progress reports on Hyogo Framework for Action were analyzed. The overview of the Japanese Disaster Management and its continuous process for improvement provides a set of implications for the international community to learn. The key finding is that enhancing local government capacity is the key area for improvement in the Japanese System and the collaborative modality among local governments observed upon the occurrence of the Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011 provides a model for the purpose. This case of collaboration among local governments also serves as amodel case fromJapan to learn by the international community to further scaling up global efforts on disaster risk reduction.

Keywords: Japan, Disaster management.

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