Advertisement

Building Back a Better Tohoku After the March 2011 Tsunami: Contradicting Evidence

  • Shingo NagamatsuEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research book series (NTHR, volume 47)

Abstract

Disaster recovery is regarded as a great opportunity to mitigate future losses from possible hazards. This idea has led the Japanese government to introduce a series of recovery programs, composed of relocation, land readjustment, and the provision of public housing; in fact, many reconstruction projects have already been undertaken under these programs. In spite of the massive reconstruction efforts for ‘building back better’, the recovery of the population has stagnated. Although part of the reason is the trend of population decrease in the area, the existing research and media reports have indicated that the length of time devoted to reconstruction works and the cost to local residents discourages them to the extent that they do not participate in the programs. The purpose of this study is to identify quantitatively whether such a paradoxical impact has existed during the recovery process from the 2011 disaster in Tohoku (Japan) by using panel analysis of 27 affected municipalities from 2009 to 2015. Once the analysis had been completed, a ‘reconstruction paradox’ was found indicating that the larger number of population emigrates from the affected area if the municipality devotes itself to the larger recovery project with heavy reconstruction projects. It was also found that the reconstruction paradox is evident in the municipalities in the high-fatality group, while those in the low-fatality group do not exhibit the significant impact of recovery programs both on in- and out-migration. Based on the results of the study, large-scale reconstruction projects are not recommended to ensure the safety of the residents but instead alternative approaches should be considered.

Keywords

Disaster recovery Migration Disaster reconstruction Relocation Build back better 

Notes

Acknowledgement

This research is supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (24221010). The initial work of this study owed by undergraduate research of Mr. Shumpei Kawatoko and Ms. Yumiko Matsuba at Kansai University. I am also grateful for comments from Adam Rose, Jonathern Eyer at University of Sourthern California, and Ilan Noy at Victoria University as an reviewer of this paper. All remaining errors, however, are mine.

References

  1. Aldrich DP (2012) Building resilience: social capital in post-disaster recovery. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barenstein JD (2013) Post tsunami relocation outcomes in Sri Lanka communities perspectives in Ampara and Hambantota. In: Barenstein JD (ed) Post-disaster reconstruction and change: communities’ perspectives. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 215–239Google Scholar
  3. Berke PR, Kartez J, Wenger D (1993) Recovery after disaster – achieving sustainable development, mitigation and equity. Disasters 17(2):93–109. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7717.1993.tb01137.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chamlee-Wright E, Storr VH (2009) Club goods and post-disaster community return. Ration Soc 21(4):429–458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cho A (2014) Post-tsunami recovery and reconstruction: governance issues and implications of the Great East Japan earthquake. Disasters 38(Suppl 2):S157–S178. doi: 10.1111/disa.12068 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fussell E (2015) The long term recovery of New Orleans’ population after Hurricane Katrina. Am Behav Sci 59(10):1231–1245. doi: 10.1177/0002764215591181 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fussell E, Sastry N, Vanlandingham M (2010) Race, socioeconomic status, and return migration to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Popul Environ 31(1–3):20–42. doi: 10.1007/s11111-009-0092-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Groen JA, Polivka AE (2010) Going home after Hurricane Katrina: determinants of return migration and changes in affected areas. Demography 47(4):821–844CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Iuchi K, Johnson LA, Olshansky RB (2013) Securing Tohoku’s future: planning for rebuilding in the first year following the Tohoku-Oki earthquake and tsunami. Earthquake Spectra 29(S1):S479–S499. doi: 10.1193/1.4000119 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Iuchi K, Maly E, Johnson L (2015) Three years after a mega-disaster: recovery policies, programs and implementation after the Great East Japan earthquake. 44:29–46.  10.1007/978-3-319-10202-3_3.
  11. Jason David, R. (2010) Opportunities and Challenges for Disaster Mitigation. Community DisasterRecovery and Resiliency, CRC Press: 475–476Google Scholar
  12. Kates RW, Colten CE, Laska S, Leatherman SP (2006) Reconstruction of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina: a research perspective. Proc Natl Acad Sci 103(40):14653–14660. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0605726103 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Levine JN, Esnard AM, Sapat A (2007) Population displacement and housing dilemmas due to catastrophic disasters. J Plan Lit 22(1):3–15. doi: 10.1177/0885412207302277 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lyons M (2009) Building back better: the large-scale impact of small-scale approaches to reconstruction. World Dev 37(2):385–398. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2008.01.006 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Matanle P (2013) Post-disaster recovery in ageing and declining communities: the Great East Japan disaster of 11 March 2011. Geography 98:68–76Google Scholar
  16. National Reconstruction Agency (2015) The roadmap of housing recoveryGoogle Scholar
  17. Shaw R (2014a) Community-based recovery and development in Tohoku, Japan. In: Kapucu N, Liou KT (eds) Disaster and development. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, pp 391–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Shaw R (2014b) Post disaster recovery: issues and challenges. In: Shaw R (ed) Disaster recovery. Springer Japan, Tokyo, pp 1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Statistics Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (2013) Dataset on Eastern Japan Pacific coast region and damages. Tohoku’s recovery still hamstrung by manpower crunch five years after tsunami. The Japan Times, March 20, 2016Google Scholar
  20. The Japan Times (2016). Tohoku’s recovery still hamstrung by manpower crunch five years after tsunami. The Japan Times.Google Scholar
  21. The Mainichi (2016) Editorial: give priority to putting disaster victims’ lives back in order. March 9, 2016Google Scholar
  22. The Reconstruction Design Council (2011) Towards Reconstruction“Hope beyond the Disaster”.Google Scholar
  23. Ueda Y, Shaw R (2015) Community recovery in tsunami-affected area: lessons from Minami-Kesennuma. pp 131–146. doi:  10.1007/978-4-431-55136-2_10
  24. United Nations (2015) Sendai framework for disaster risk reductionGoogle Scholar
  25. Vigdor J (2008) The economic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. J Econ Perspect 22(4):135–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Societal Safety SciencesKansai UniversityOsakaJapan

Personalised recommendations