Part or chapter of a book
Changing Stakes: Moving from Relief to Recovery after the 2011 Japan Tsunami
Governing for Resilience in Vulnerable Places, University of Groningen, 9–10 October 2014
forthcoming - p.
On 11 March, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake unleashed a tsunami that devastated around 500 kilometers of the northeastern coast of Japan, primarily across the prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima. It caused nearly 16,000 confirmed casualties, with more than 2,500 people still missing; over 340,000 people were displaced. Recovery from such an event is both a test of existing resilience and the construction of resilience for the future. Japan is among the most disaster-prepared countries in the world, and quickly rolled out an impressive and well-financed plan for recovery. Four years later, the recovery is behind schedule and struggling. This chapter shows that part of the problem stems from confusion over the goals of the effort. Without a firm and widely understood definition of resilience, attempts to achieve it became confused and counterproductive.