The gigantic earthquake of magnitude 9.0 which occurred on 11th March, 2011 caused tremendous damage to the huge coastal area around Northeast Japan. The tsunami was of historical record in terms of its height and area affected. The catastrophic damaged communities had been in financial difficulties with a high percentage of aged people, revealing various types of precariousness in the social structure of the communities and the vulnerability individual resident groups had. Therefor it is a very difficult challenge for the community people to deal with issues developing in the regeneration stage.
This paper focuses on the people’s experiences in the regeneration stage of these damaged communities, especially in relation to the developing contextual mechanism from pre-disaster stage to evacuation and rescue, temporary living, and regeneration stage. We begin by trying to describe the experiences of the people in Otuchi town, Iwate prefecture based on the in-depth interviews.
At this point (about three years after the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami), people in tsunami-stricken communities have to consider seriously and deal with carefully a number of issues developing in tandem for their better future. These issues include assessing the building of sea walls and the effects thereof, reorganizing land use (both in and out of low-lying plains), investigating the possibility (and pros and cons) of moving homes to higher ground, repositioning key regional facilities (including maintaining industrial facilities and promoting industries), creating job opportunities and rebuilding of livelihoods for people of all ages, maintaining evacuation routes in tsunami-stricken areas, and managing regional disaster prevention. In the meantime there may be a process of forgetting or underestimating tsunami-stricken experiences. Reconsidering these experiences and reorganizing local lifestyles is a focal point to see the future.
Three years have passed since the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Approximately 130,000 people have been forced to evacuate, and they now have dif culties in every aspect of their lives. These people face challenges with regard to helping displaced family members, finding employment, and educating their children. Meanwhile, the Japanese government concentrates on reconstruction of the damaged area.
The purpose of this paper is to describe regional and community characteristics relating to nuclear accidents and evacuees, and to clarify what regional and community studies should examine.
The paper focuses on four issues concerning Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident and evacuees. The issues are (a) to treat nuclear accidents as “disasters” is to prevent evacuees from achieving recovery and revitalization, (b) Japanese government support of a return policy for Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) works against evacuees who wish to return to their homes, thereby favouring the victimizer over the victim, (c) local governments forced to provide refuge for evacuees face a dilemma. The restricted area set up to guard evacuee residents is in crisis with relation to the local government. If the situation continues, it could become a matter of life and death. Budgetary limitations are leading to governmental favouritism toward the pro-TEPCO return policy, and evacuees cannot choose for themselves whether to return to their home towns or to migrate to other areas. Three years have passed, and evacuees are being forced into dif culties by the plan for radioactive contamination.
Based on these issues, I suggest that regional and community studies should examine (1) how local communities are to be rebuilt through future decisions made by evacuees, (2) how the government should support evacuees, and (3) how is radioactive contamination as a realized risk distributed spatially in Japanese society after nuclear accidents.
We, researchers of regional and community studies, are good at going to our field, hearing residents’ voices and finding some local problems. At the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, we did so, and at the Great East Japan Earthquake, we have been doing so, too. We had made many conference presentations and academic journal papers on these acheivements. However these actions rarely lead directly to the solution of problems, because the sense of academic society is often away from the practical world. Researchers who conduct a field work are expected to contribute practically to the field. This feedback is one of the social responsibility (engagement) of academics and researchers.
We learned “co-presense” and “liaison” from some volunteers at the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. “Co-presense” means to closely access the sufferer sharing time and space. It starts from hearing earnestly what he/she says. By and by we can talk mutually and understand each other. “Liaison” means to pass on to the specialist who can solve the problem.
It is required that we, researchers of regional and community studies, make efforts to tie research
results to a practical solution. In order to do that, we have to develop our problem-solving skills or work with the designer to solve that problem. The academic society, I think, should take the lead to change ourselves.
The objective of this paper is to clarify the process of the development of awareness of autonomy
in neighborhood organizations and their mobilization in early 1960s’ in Tokyo. Framework applied in this
paper is from sociological viewpoint regarding neighborhood organization and from public administration. In
detail, this paper will pay attention to the aspects of the awareness instead of the structure and the character as
pressure group of neighborhood organization.
Then, this paper will differentiate the period into two terms. The former is from the end of 1950s’ to
1961. Through this period, the problem of crime prevention light occurred and the cabinet council decided the
measure of maintenance of the light. The latter is from 1961 to the Olympics in Tokyo in 1964. At this stage,
Inclusion and Mobilization of neighborhood organizations have been developed.
Research data is mainly from a set of books “Chokai” (in English “neighborhood organization”)
reprinted in 2007. It was written based on the report from each organization in Tokyo, in 1950s’ and 1960s’.
The text describes the lively activities and characters. So it is also useful to relativize the structure centric
analysis regarding the organization.
In conclusion, following process will be clarified. In the former period, the awareness of autonomy
in neighborhood organizations was occurred based on the activity to solve the problem of crime prevention
light and the trial to identify constellation of organizations. However, the cabinet council decision opened the
possibility of inclusion and mobilization through the frame of the awareness and local identity. The possibility
was realized through the arrangements for the Olympics in Tokyo based on the moral as “Citizen of Tokyo”
instead of residents of neighborhood organization. We can suppose the process of inclusion and mobilization
as a former condition of community policy by the government in 1970s’.
In this article, the author discusses intra-municipal decentralization in modern Japanese cities. Intramunicipal
decentralization is an important policy issue in large cities such as Nagoya & Osaka because of the
political style called populism that is characterized by the attacks on interest groups and the top-down decision
making with reformist rhetoric. The author studies a case of Nagoya city in which mayor Kawamura has taken
office since 2009. This article understands the intra-municipal decentralization in Nagoya as a process of
reconsidering community representatives. The case study indicates two important points.
First, through the argument about the intra-municipal decentralization in Nagoya, it revealed a cleavage
between the mayor and other actors against the building of its community councils, such as the leaders of
neighborhood associations and the members of the city council. There are two different logics which are based
on two distinct interpretations of legitimacy of community representatives.
Second, behind the political antagonism between the mayor and the city council, an important problem
is overlooked that it is too difficult to maintain the cohesion of local communities in Nagoya. Citizens of
Nagoya city don’t participate in community activities diligently. The author argues that the cohesion of local
communities is indispensable to construct community representatives as the leaders of neighborhood selfgovernance.
In conclusion, the author discusses (re)building of local communities in Japanese cities. In Nagoya,
the citizens don’t respond to the top-down intra-municipal decentralization clearly. Though this case study
indicates the difficulties of the neighborhood self-governance in Nagoya, the citizens need to address the issue
of neighborhood self-governance by themselves.
With the experience of two severe disasters (The Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake disaster in 1995 and
the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster in 2011), I wish to consider “subsistence” as human life, existence
equaling the basic activities of life, an essential mutual act-like existence economy. In this paper, I pursue a
positive development of “Disasters-Time Economics” as a research object under the larger framework of the
formation of a “morals economy”, as part of a critical process.
In this paper, in order that a stricken area and society may aim at realization of the new methodology
about “creative revival” for newly developing independently, research involving the state of the revival fund of
a wide sense is performed.
Nevertheless, there is an overall understanding of who, in what areas, and using what methodology,
has conducted research in the restoration and revival process, as well as the weak points that tend to hinder the
process. There is no research on the rationality and function of public finance expenditures or national sources
Therefore, in this paper, the term “Disasters-Time Economics” is newly prepared.
From this concept, many activities of the project, service, support, self-efforts, etc. of a domain social
and private from a public sphere in connection with the process of a maintenance/restoration under the disaster
The feature and subject point of the process are clarified.
The market economy order which is going to be produced in this process does the basic work which
finds out the economic order for another self-subsistence over the life.