President, Science Council of Japan
President, Toyohashi University of Technology, Japan
First, let me express my heartfelt congratulations to the Journalof Disaster Research (JDR) on its tenth anniversary. TheThird UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, heldthis year in Sendai, Japan, is the third of three UN conferencesin the last three decades all held in Japan. This is partlybecause Japan is one country often subject to natural disasterswith man-made disasters following them. It is also becauseJapan has historically attempted to reduce and prevent disasterdamage.
Lessons in tsunami disasters mainly learned from the 1933Showa Sanriku Earthquake Tsunami and 1960 Chile EarthquakeTsunami were tested in the 2011 Great East Japan EarthquakeDisaster. Concurrent tsunami damage and man-madeproblems arising in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plantaccident were greatly exceeding anything predicted or imaginedand showed how Japan’s disaster reduction and preparednessefforts failed.
In an ordeal on such an unprecedented scale, further lessonsmust be learned so that we may prepare better for impendinglarger disasters. Objectives of disaster research is to learn whatdisasters have to teach us scientifically and to find and proposemeasures that may help reduce disaster damage and help usimplement these measures. I believe that many researchers –particularly younger ones – now diligently and rapidly studyingin preparation for future disasters in view of what past researchmay have lacked. The results of their research should be channeledglobally into disaster reduction in Japan and elsewhere.
As an international open-access journal, the JDR provides animportant forum for international research exchange in practicalways. It is my hope that the JDR will, on this occasion ofits tenth anniversary, continue to provide such a platform forwide-ranging leading-edge research, and that it will therebycontribute to building a society supremely resilient against disaster.