The March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan plunged the country into a state of crisis. As the nation struggled to recover from a record breaking magnitude 9 earthquake and a tsunami that was as high as thirty-eight meters in some places, news trickled out that Fukushima had experienced meltdowns in three reactors. These tragic catastrophes claimed some 20,000 lives, initially displacing some 500,000 people and overwhelming Japan's formidable disaster preparedness.
This book brings together the analysis and insights of a group of distinguished experts on Japan to examine what happened, how various institutions and actors responded and what lessons can be drawn from Japan’s disaster. The contributors, many of whom experienced the disaster first hand, assess the wide-ranging repercussions of this catastrophe and how it is already reshaping Japanese culture, politics, energy policy, and urban planning.
Table of Contents
Introduction, Jeff Kingston Part I. Disaster: Reports from Tohoku 1. Tohoku Diary: Reportage on the Tohoku Disaster, Gerald Curtis 2. Recovery in Tohoku, John F. Morris Part II. Volunteerism, Civil Society and Media 3. From Kobe to Tohoku: The Potential and the Peril of a Volunteer Infrastructure, Simon Avenell 4. Civil Society and the Triple Disasters: Revealed Strengths and Weaknesses, Yuko Kawato, Robert Pekkanen and Yutaka Tsujinaka 5. Social Media in Disaster Japan, David H. Slater, Nishimura Keiko and Love Kindstrand 6. March 11, 2011 Online: Comparing Japanese Newspaper Websites and International News Websites, Leslie M. Tkach-Kawasaki Part III. Energy 7. Networks of Power: Institutions and Local Residents in Post-Tohoku Japan, Daniel P. Aldrich 8. Hard Choices: Japan's Post-Fukushima Energy Policy in the 21st Century, Paul J. Scalise 9. Fukushima and the Political Economy of Power Policy in Japan, Andrew Dewitt, Iida Tetsunari and Masuru Kaneko Part IV. History and Politics 10. Dealing With Disaster, Peter Duus 11. The Politics of Natural Disaster, Nuclear Crisis and Recovery, Jeff Kingston 12. Friends in Need: 'Operation Tomodachi' and the Politics of US Military Disaster Relief in Japan, Chris Ames and Yuiko Koguchi-Ames Part V. Recovery and Reconstruction 13. The Economic Fallout: Japan's Post-3/11 Challenges, Kenneth Neil Cukier 14. Ageing Society, Health Issues and Disaster: Assessing 3/11, Junko Otani 15. Thousand-Year Event: Towards Reconstructing Communities, Riccardo Tossani 16. Can Post-3/11 Japan overcome 20 years of drift? Kazuhiko Togo
Jeff Kingstonis Professor of History and Director of Asian Studies at Temple University, Japan. He is the author of Japan's Quiet Transformation (2004) and Contemporary Japan (2011).
'The triple disasters of 11 March 2011 will change the face of Japan and this is the best place to understand how. This timely and excellent publication is packed with important insights into the consequences of these disasters and challenges mainstream media views and misperceptions concerning PM Kan’s disaster management.' - Sven Saaler, Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan
"One of the most impressive and memorable features of the book edited by Kingston is its tone of immediacy: the various contributors draw on many years of scholarly insight and experience to describe events and scenarios in a style of narrative that aspires beyond common journalistic analysis." – Keith Jackson, SOAS, University of London