1st Edition

Japan’s Triple Disaster Pursuing Justice after the Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami, and Fukushima Nuclear Accident

    292 Pages 35 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The authors of this volume discuss questions of disaster and justice from various interdisciplinary vantage points, including public policy, science and technology studies, law, gender, sociology and psychology, social and cultural anthropology, town planning and tourism.

    The term "natural" disasters is a misnomer; cataclysmic natural events that impact humans can often be anticipated and their consequences should be prevented – the failure to do so is a failure of politics, policy and risk planning. Presenting research on more than a decade after the Great East Japan Earthquake, the chapters highlight not only the manifold challenges in the direct disaster response and policymaking but also the difficulties of "just" long- term recovery. Arguing for just distribution, recognition and participation, this volume provides a diversity of perspectives on these issues as experienced after the 2011 disasters through detailed and nuanced analyses presented by early career researchers and senior academics coming from various countries and continents of the world. The insights of this volume galvanise the discussion of disaster governance and highlight the variety of disaster (in)justices and the ways disasters force people to contest and reimagine their relationships with their countries, neighborhoods, families, and friends.

    A valuable read for scholars and students researching issues related to mass emergencies, justice theory and civil activism.


    Natalia Novikova, Julia Gerster, and Manuela Hartwig

    Part I: Nuclear Disaster and Recovery Challenges

    1. Ten Years of Recovery and Revitalization Policies after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster

    Kota Kawasaki

    2. Restoring the Rights of Fukushima Nuclear Accident Victims through Collective Lawsuits

    Masafumi Yokemoto

    3. Voicing the Invisible: Resilience, Adaptation, and Resistance in the Narratives of the Fukushima Plaintiffs

    Giulia De Togni

    4. Japanese Politics and Nuclear Energy in the Ten Years since Fukushima: A Meta-Political Justice Perspective

    Katsuyuki Hidaka

    Part II: Dismissed Voices and Agency

    5. Disasters and Domestic Violence: Making Structural Injustices toward Women after the Great East Japan Earthquake Visible

    Mariko Ogawa

    6. Citizenship and Disaster: Experiences of Foreign Women after 3.11

    Sunhee Lee

    7. The Recognition of "Death by Disaster"

    Yuki Sadaike

    Part III: Discredited Voices in the Credibility Economy of Disaster

    8. Strategic Just-Peacebuilding and Citizen Activities after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident

    Akiko Ishihara

    9. The Right to Be Heard: Analyzing Parents’ Activism in the Kantō Region

    Natalia Novikova

    10. Growing up in Fukushima Prefecture after the Nuclear Accident: Young People Give Voice to the Stories of Non-Evacuated Communities

    Shira Taube Dayan

    Part IV: Place-making and Identity

    11. Community Empowerment for a Just Recovery of Gathering Spaces: Case Studies from 3.11

    Yegane Ghezelloo and Elizabeth Maly

    12. Lowering Mountains, Raising Walls: Impacts of Rebuilding in Coastal Miyagi Communities

    Alyne Delaney

    13. From Being Seen and Heard to Feeling Displaced: The Double-Edged Sword of Tōhoku’s Post-Disaster Tourism

    Anna Vainio and Annaclaudia Martini

    14. The 3.11 disasters and Challenges of Pursuing Justice: Epilogue

    Aya H. Kimura


    Natalia Novikova is a Language Instructor at Tamagawa University, Japan. She received her Ph.D. in International and Advanced Japanese Studies at the University of Tsukuba, Japan, exploring the nature of citizen activism in the aftermath of the 3.11 disasters.

    Julia Gerster is an Assistant Professor at the Disaster Culture and Digital Archive Division at the International Research Institute of Disaster Science at Tohoku University, Japan. She received a Ph.D. in Japanese studies at Freie Universität Berlin working on the role of local culture in community recovery after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

    Manuela G. Hartwig is currently a research associate at the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Tsukuba, Japan. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Tsukuba in Advanced Social Japanese Studies in 2020 focusing on the role of "science advisers" in Japan’s energy and climate change policymaking network.

    "Japan’s Triple Disaster is an ambitious and important book. It is unusual for bringing into dialogue the quite different constellation of issues found in the nuclear disaster and the coastal tsunami disaster. It is also unusual for its attention to a wide range of often overlooked actors: women, children, foreign residents. Anyone interested in the aftermath and memory of disaster, whether in Japan or around the world, should read this book."

    Andrew Gordon, Project Director of the Japan Disasters Digital Archive (JDA), Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History, Harvard University

    "This is a well- researched and sophisticated collection of smart papers that allows us to see the 2011 disasters in a new way. It is one of the best examples of detailed research that explores the aftermath of the triple disaster. Moreover, it allows us to see the complicated aspects that the disasters revealed to us as always lurking just below the surface of local and national polity. Each chapter is theoretically informed and researched with careful detail. The different facets of justice become a very productive and original way to reexamine this disaster we once thought of as familiar. I recommend this book for scholars in the field and delightfully, due to the largely jargon- free writing, it would work wonderfully for a course textbook."

    David H. Slater, Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Graduate Program in Japanese Studies, Sophia University, Tokyo

    "This book addresses critical and challenging but invisible issues that should not be forgotten in disaster recovery and risk management. It is a must- read for disaster researchers and practitioners to understand injustices in disaster risk management, and gain hints to overcome them."

    Takako Izumi, Director, APRU Multi- Hazards Program, Professor at the International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS)/ Graduate School of International Cultural Studies,Tohoku University, Japan