Development of Urban Disaster Prevention Systems in Japan – from the Mid-1980s
Graduate School of Urban Environmental Science, Tokyo Metropolitan University, 1-1 Minami Osawa, Hachioji City, Tokyo 192-0397, Japan
This treatise outlines developments in disaster management focusing on earthquake disaster measures taken by the Japanese and Tokyo Metropolitan Governments since the 1980s. The 1978 Large-Scale Earthquake Measures Special Act on conditions for predicting the Tokai Earthquake significantly changed the direction of earthquake disaster measures in Japan. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government undertook its own earthquake disaster measures based on lessons learned from the 1964 Niigata Earthquake. In the 1980s, it began planning urban development disaster management programs for upgrading areas with high wooden houses concentration – still a big problem in many urban areas of Japan – which are most vulnerable to earthquake disasters. The 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in Kobe brought meaningful insight into both to earthquake disaster measures by the Japanese Government and by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and other local governments nationwide. Long-term predictions concerning possible earthquake occurrence have been conducted throughout Japan and new earthquake disaster measures have been adopted based on this long-term prediction. The Tokyo Government has further completely revised its own earthquake disaster measures. As a review of measures against foreseeable earthquake disasters based on developments in disaster management measures, this treatise provides invaluable insights emphasizing urban earthquake disaster prevention developed in Japan over the last 30 years that readers are sure to find both interesting and informative in their own work.