Current Status and Issues of Life Recovery Process Three Years After the Great East Japan Earthquake Questionnaire Based on Subjective Estimate of Victims Using Life Recovery Calendar Method
Reo Kimura*, Kota Tomoyasu*, Yutaka Yajima**,
Hitomi Mashima**, Kensaku Furukawa**, Yuki Toda**,
Kazuaki Watanabe**, and Takeo Kawahara**
*Graduate School of Human Science and Environment, University of Hyogo, 1-1-12 Shinzaike-honcho, Himeji, Hyogo 670-0092, Japan
**News Department, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), 2-2-1 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8001, Japan
This paper clarifies recovery status and life recovery processes based on victims’ feelings following the March 2011 Great East Japan earthquake. Specifically, a questionnaires were given to about 3,000 quake victims to determine their status and any issues they may have had. The overall recovery picture was obtained using measurement called a “recovery calendar.” The structure of the recovery process was compared to disasters such as the Great Hanshin-Awaji (Kobe) earthquake in 1995. The recovery calendar indicated that 80% of respondents felt that local activities have not been restored to their original state and saw themselves as victims three years after the earthquake, indicating that recovery had progressed slower than it had following the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake. In a comparison of the three prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi displayed the same recovery trends. Fukushima recovered later than the other two prefectures. For the item “The local economy was no longer influenced by the earthquake,” it was indicated that the economic situation in Iwate was worse than that in Miyagi or Fukushima. General characteristics of the life recovery process were also investigated through a comparison to other earthquake and water disasters. Life recovery proceeded in five phases: 1) Victims prepared to have an uncomfortable life for a while and understood the extent of the damage. 2) Victims felt safe and office and school activities had resumed. 3) Everyday life settled down, housing problems were finally settled, and personal financial situations were no longer influenced by the earthquake. 4) Respondents no longer defined themselves as victims. 5) The local economy was no longer influenced by the earthquake. In cluster analysis for classifying life recovery processes, 12 items were classified into five clusters corresponding to the above five phases, statistically showing that victims’ lives recovered through these phases. As a result of decision tree analysis for predicting causes of “they no longer defined themselves as victims” in an attempt to organize life recovery processes, the same structure of life recovery processes was found as for the three-layer recovery model of the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake. In short, physical and economic recovery such as of houses and regions was achieved based on the reconstruction of infrastructures, followed by the achievement of life recovery. It is predicted and proposed that life recovery in areas affected by the Great East Japan earthquake took the course of infrastructure reconstruction at first, then achieved physical recovery in local areas by supporting house recovery on a parallel with economic support. To achieve them, a long-term plan from a perspective of at least 10 years is required, as was the case of the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake.
-  Fire and Disaster Management Agency, Japan, “The 2011 Earthquake Off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku (the Great East Japan Earthquake),” Vol.149, March 7, 2014 (in Japanese).
-  Reconstruction Agency, “The Number of Disaster-related Deaths in the Great East Japan Earthquake (as of September 30, 2013),” December 24, 2013 (in Japanese).
-  Ministry of the Environment, “The Progress of DisasterWasteManagement, Three Coastal Municipalities (except evacuation zones),” 2014 (in Japanese).
-  Ministry of the Environment, “Decontamination Situation as of the End of February, 2014 in Decontamination Zones of Municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture,” 2014 (in Japanese),
http://josen.env.go.jp/zone/details/fukushima_progress.html [accessed April 1, 2014]
-  Reconstruction Agency, “Current Situation of Reconstruction (as of March 10, 2014),” 2014 (in Japanese).
-  Fire and Disaster Management Agency, Japan, “The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake (Final Report),” May 19, 2006 (in Japanese).
-  Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, “Stability Security of Rental Housing Residents at Disaster (Document distributed at The Fourth Meeting of Subcommittee of Disaster-related Land and Building Leases and Sectional Ownership of Building,” Legislative Council of the Ministry of Justice (held on November 12, 2012), 2012 (in Japanese).
-  Hyogo Prefecture, “Recovery and Reconstruction Situation of The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake,” 2014 (in Japanese).
-  S. Tatsuki, “Long-term Life Recovery Processes Among Survivors of the 1995 Kobe Earthquake: 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2005 Life Recovery Social Survey Results,” Journal of Disaster Research, Vol.2, No.6, pp. 484-501, Dec. 2007.
-  K. Tamura, “Defining Recovery: 7-Element Model,” Journal of Disaster Research, Vol.2, No.6, pp. 475-483, Dec. 2007.
-  H. Hayashi, “Long-term Recovery from Recent Disasters in Japan and the United States,” Journal of Disaster Research, Vol.2, No.6, pp. 413-418, Dec. 2007.
-  R. Kimura, H. Hayashi, K. Tamura, S. Tatsuki, T. Noda, K. Yamori, A. Kuromiya, and Y. Urtata, “Developing Victims’ Life Reconstruction Indicators by Social Survey – Ten Years Monitoring in the Great Hanshin-Awaji(Kobe) Earthquake Disaster –,” Journal of Social Safety Science, No.8, pp. 415-424, 2006 (in Japanese).
-  R. Kimura, K. Tamura, and H. Hayashi, “Development of the Method of Clarifying the Life Reconstruction Process Based on the Random Sampled Social Surveys of the Victims – Recovery and Reconstruction Calendar –,” Proceedings of the International Emergency Management Society (TIEMS) 17th Annual Conference, pp. 168-178, 2010.
-  R. Kimura, “Psychology in Disaster and Society, Encyclopedia of Disaster in Japanese History,” pp. 72-77, Yoshikawa-Kobunkan, 2012.
-  R. Kimura, Y. Yajima, Y. Matsui, and R. Suzuki, “Conditions of the Disaster Victims of Two-Year after the 2011 off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake – How do the Disaster Victims Feel in the Process of Life Reconstruction,” Journal of Disaster Information Studies, No.12, pp. 114-123, 2014 (in Japanese).
-  R. Kimura, H. Hayashi, S. Tatsuki, and K. Tamura, “Psychologically Defined Life Reconstruction Processes of Disaster Victims in the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake,” Journal of Social Safety Science, No.6, pp. 241-250, Nov. 2004 (in Japanese).
-  R. Kimura, “Recovery and Reconstruction Calendar,” Journal of Disaster Research, Vol.2, No.6, pp. 465-474, Dec. 2007.
-  R. Kimura and S. Ohtomo, “Life Reconstruction Processes of Flood Disaster Victims in Semimountainous Area – A Case Study of Kii Peninsula Flood Disaster (the Typhoon No.12 in 2011) in Japan –,” Journal of Social Safety Science, No.21, pp. 137-147, Nov. 2013 (in Japanese).
This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internationa License.