The Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Meltdown: Towards the (Re)Construction of a Safe, Sustainable and Compassionate Society in Japan's Shrinking Regions
Local Environment, Vol. 16, No. 9, pp. 823-847, 2011
45 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2011 Last revised: 6 Jan 2012
Date Written: November 28, 2011
Japan's rural regions have been shrinking for the entire post-war period, and successive efforts to revitalise rural society have failed. This article examines whether the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, present the Japanese state and society with a watershed opportunity to rethink regional revitalisation and national energy procurement strategies. The article begins by summarising the events of March and April 2011, examines possible approaches to the reconstruction of communities in the Tōhoku region, and critiques problems of governance in post-war Japan that the disaster reveals. It concludes by pulling together the information and analysis presented into a discussion of the prospects for achieving the three-point vision for a safe, sustainable, and compassionate society that Prime Minister Naoto Kan set the Reconstruction Design Council.
Keywords: rural revitalisation, disaster reconstruction, Tōhoku Earthquake, Japan's shrinking regions, sustainability
JEL Classification: R11, R14, R19, J11, Z1, Z10, J10, J11, J14, J7, O18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation