1st Edition

Civil Defense in Japan Issues and Challenges

Edited By Yasuhiro Takeda, Jun Ito, Yusuke Kawashima Copyright 2024
    274 Pages 39 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In 2004, Japan instituted a system to protect citizens against military attacks and terrorism for the first time after World War II. Faced with the Tokyo subway attack (1995), the 9/11 terrorist attacks (2001), and the changing security environment in East Asia, the Japanese government was forced to implement the most extensive reform of its domestic crisis management ["kiki-kanri"] system in the postwar era.

    Japan’s civil defense system is now called civil protection ["kokumin-hogo"]. Two world wars in the 20th century led to the development of national institutions based on civil defense in Western democratic countries (including the United States and Canada). As times have changed, most countries have adopted a comprehensive crisis (or emergency) management system, integrating civil defense and disaster management (against natural and technological hazards). However, Japan continues to take a different path. Why has a comprehensive crisis management system yet to be formed? How do complex and fragmented institutions work? This book examines the institutions and policies of civil protection (i.e., Japan's civil defense) and further analyzes their effectiveness and issues. Furthermore, it also examines the trade-offs resulting from the coexistence of two independent institutions: civil protection and natural disaster management.

    A valuable read for scholars of Japan’s public administration and security/ defense policy, as well as for those researching and comparing disaster-preparedness across countries.


    List of Figures

    List of Tables




    List of Contributors

    List of Japanese Laws and Acts


    Introduction: Questioning Japan's Outdated Safety Myths

    Yasuhiro Takeda

    Chapter 1. A Guide to Japan's Crisis Management System: History, Laws, and Policies

    Jun Ito

    Chapter 2. Decentralization and Integration in Civil Protection Governance

    Yusuke Kawashima

    Chapter 3. Local Governments' Crisis Management Systems: Conflicts over Cooperation

    Ken Kato

    Chapter 4. An Overview of and Issues in Legislative Management Regarding Civil Protection in Armed Attack Situations

    Hironobu Nakabayashi

    Chapter 5. The Civil Protection Trap: Why Government-led Evacuation Plans for War and Terrorism are Impractical

    Naofumi Miyasaka

    Chapter 6. The Realities of Civil Protection Training in Local Governments

    Yusuke Kawashima, Jun Ito, and Daisuke Hakiai

    Chapter 7. A Response to the Civil Protection Plans of Japan's Municipalities for the Problems of the Remote Islands

    Koji Furukawa

    Chapter 8. The Private Sector Response to Ballistic Missile Attacks

    Takashi Ashizawa

    Chapter 9. Two Approaches to Responding to Destructive Cyber Attacks on Critical Infrastructure in Japan: Addressing Cyber Crises as "Service Failures" or "Armed Attacks"

    Takahisa Kawaguchi

    Chapter 10. Pitfalls in Japan's Civil Protection Framework: A Reconsideration Based on a Red Team Attack Scenario Policy Simulation

    Tomoaki Honda

    Chapter 11. Japan's Changing Approach to Dealing with Rumors in the Aftermath of Natural Disasters and War

    Masahiro Hayashi


    Yasuhiro Takeda




    Yasuhiro Takeda is a professor in the Department of International Relations at Tokyo International University, Japan, and an Emeritus Professor at the National Defense Academy, Japan.

    Jun Ito is an associate professor in the Department of Global Liberal Arts, Faculty of International Communication at Aichi University, Japan.

    Yusuke Kawashima is an associate professor in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Ibaraki University, Japan.