Special Issue on Enhancement of Societal Resiliency Against Natural Disasters
Earthquake Research Institute,
The University of Tokyo
Yayoi, Bunkyo, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan
Enhancing social resilience in the event of natural disasters is a critical issue for Japan. It will requires a need huge efforts to further increase the physical preparedness; on the other hand, compared to increasing physical preparedness, enhancing social resilience is a cost-effective means of mitigating the effects of natural disasters. The Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion program (SIP), the biggest national research program in Japan, selected a theme related to enhancing social resilience in the face of natural disasters in 2014. The authors of this special issue worked as a part of the SIP for five years and developed state-of-the-art technologies for the enhancement, namely, next-generation tsunami and heavy rain observation, integrated liquefaction counter-measures, methods for sharing disaster information, a real-time disaster estimation system, an emergency communication system, and the development of applications for regional use. Most of the technologies have been implemented in efforts at natural disaster mitigation following earthquakes and heavy rains in 2017 and 2018. The development and implementation of advanced technologies are the essence of the SIP because it aims to foster innovation. While the SIP is a Japanese government program, it promotes international utilization of the technologies it develops. There are many instances which might be studied better by developing and utilizing advanced technologies in various countries following different types of natural disasters. I hope that this special issue will be a gateway for readers who are interested in using such advanced technologies to mitigate natural disasters and enhance social resilience during such events.