JDR Vol.9 No.sp pp. 592-597
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2014.p0592


Short History of Risk Communication in Japan

Tomio Kinoshita*,**

*Professor Emeritus, Kyoto University, 31-17 Kotakeyabu-cho, Matsugasaki, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-0967, Japan

**Fellow, International Institute for Advanced Studies

October 27, 2013
December 16, 2013
September 1, 2014
risk communication, history of hardship in Japan, Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant incident
The notion of risk was introduced in Japanese academia in the 1970s. Following this initial period of interest, the Society for Risk Analysis, Japan, was launched in 1988, coinciding with the first study of “risk communication.” However, the concept was not widely embraced by the public at that time. This situation changed after the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, and risk communication gradually came to be acknowledged in Japanese society. Following the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant incident ofMarch 11, 2011, a boom in risk communication occurred due to anxieties among residents about the possibility of low-level radiation exposure. Regrettably, however, the government’s risk communication system did not work well, and consequently, the general public did not know who or what to believe. Underlying this confusion, we can observe the differences between the “risk cultures” of Japan and the West. Thus, it remains to be seen in what manner Japanese people will come to accept risk communication.
Cite this article as:
T. Kinoshita, “Short History of Risk Communication in Japan,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.9 No.sp, pp. 592-597, 2014.
Data files:
  1. [1] S. Ikeda, “Short history of the Society for Risk Analysis, Japan,” in the Society for Risk Analysis, Japan (Ed.), “Handbook of risk research,” Revised and enlarged edition, Hankyu Communications, pp. 36-37, 2006 (in Japanese).
  2. [2] Cabinet Office, “Let develop an understanding for a nuclear power generation,” This Week of Japan, October 24, 1988 (in Japanese).
  3. [3] No Nuclear Party, Official gazette for upper house Diet elections, 1989 (in Japanese).
  4. [4] T. Kinoshita and T. Kikkawa, “Effects of risk communication (1) – A laboratory experiment,” Proceedings of the 30th AnnualMeetings of Japanese Society of Social Psychology, pp. 109-110, 1989 (in Japanese).
  5. [5] C. I. Hovland, A. A. Lumdaine, and F. D. Sheffield, “Experiments on mass communication,” Princeton University Press, 1949.
  6. [6] T. Mukaibo, “30 years history of Atomic Energy Society of Japan and future” 30th Anniversary Symposium of Atomic Energy Society of Japan (from Asahi Shinbun, Feb. 15, 1989).
  7. [7] T. Kinoshita, “Risk communication – Concepts and technologies,” in Y. Shibata (Ed.), “Risk communication – It’s philosophy, theory, and technique – For understanding of radiation health risk,” Nagasaki University, Global Strategic Center for Radiation Health Risk Control, pp. 1-46, 2010 (in Japanese).
  8. [8] T. Kinoshita, “Reconsideration of “assumption” – Based on the Fukushima experience,” Japanese Journal of Risk Analysis, Vol.22, No.4, pp. 237-247, 2012 (in Japanese).
  9. [9] T. Kikkawa, “Risk communication – For mutual understanding and better decision making,” Fukumura Shuppan, 1999 (in Japanese).
  10. [10] T. Kinoshita, “Coexistence of science, technology and humankind – Philosophy and technology of risk communication,” in K. Arifuku (Ed.), “Nature, society, and culture as an environment,” Kyoto University Press, pp. 145-191, 1997 (in Japanese).
  11. [11] National Research Council, “Improving risk communication,” National Academy Press, 1989.
  12. [12] Office of Public Relations, Minister’s Secretariat, Cabinet Office, “Public opinion survey concerning people’s lifestyles,” June 2009, [accessed October, 2013]
  13. [13] A. H. Maslow, “Toward a psychology of being,” Van Nostrand, 1962.
  14. [14] T. Kinoshita, “Safety and security – Its truth and lie,” Human Security Science, No.4, pp. 1-30, 2009a (in Japanese).
  15. [15] T. Kinoshita, K. Yoshino, Y. Yamada, C. Kanagawa, M. Fukui, and A. Takenishi, “Construction of program for training risk communicator – Example of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries,” Proceedings of the 16th Annual Meetings of the Society for Risk Analysis, Japan, Vol.16, pp. 1-10, 2003 (in Japanese).
  16. [16] T. Kinoshita, “Reconsideration of risk communication – To construct integrated risk communication (3)” Japanese Journal of Risk Analysis, Vol.19, No.3, pp. 3-24, 2009b (in Japanese).
  17. [17] M. Kojima, H. Togasawa, Y. Shibata, Y. Shimada, T. Kinoshita, and S. Yamashita, “Misunderstanding in news on radioactivity,” Energy Forum, 2012 (in Japanese).
  18. [18] P. L. Bernstein, “Against the God : The remarkable story of risk,” John Wiley & Sons, 1996.
  19. [19] T. Kinoshita, “How Japanese think risks,” Monthly Energy Review, March, pp. 12-13 (2013, in Japanese).
  20. [20] K. Toki, “Earthquake disaster prevention in the future,” Biophilia, SP2011, pp. 21-24, 2011 (in Japanese).
  21. [21] E. O. Reischauer, “The Japanese today,” Mass, Harvard University Press, 1977.

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on Jul. 19, 2024