Managing the Great East Japan Earthquake Emergency with Emphasis on Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Communication: Best and Worst Practices
ITOKO SUZUKI, Department of Economic and Social Affairs
YUKO KANEKO, University of Yamagata
This article reviews the triple emergency management of the Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster which occurred on 11 March 2011, registering a Moment Magnitude of 9.0, combined with gigantic tsunamis and the immediately ensuing Fukushima nuclear power plant accident. While the damages caused are still under investigation, and many related issues are still uncovered or unresolved, this case review attempts to share an analysis of the management of the initial emergency response as undertaken by the government, with special emphasis on the communication problems experienced in the Fukushima nuclear crisis. Among other things, the causes and effects of the so-called "safety myth" are described. The case review, which was based primarily on information made available to citizens in Japan, tries to distinguish better or worse practices in the emergency management experience, in order to learn lessons and draw challenges in handling future disasters.