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OECD Workshop on Inter-Agency Crisis Management. June 28, 2012. Agenda. ■ The Great East Japan Earthquake ■ It’s all about “boundaries” ■ Implications and our challenge. Unprecedented challenge for Japan since 3 ・ 11. The Great East Earthquakes. Earthquakes M-9.0 quake (March 11)

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■The Great East Japan Earthquake

■ It’s all about “boundaries”

■ Implications and our challenge

unprecedented challenge for japan since 3 11
Unprecedented challenge for Japan since 3・11

The Great East Earthquakes

  • Earthquakes
    • M-9.0 quake (March 11)
    • M-7.0 class 5 times
    • M-6.0 class 71 times
    • M-5.0 class 380 times (As of May 16th)
  • Casualties (As of July)
    • Dead : over 15,600
    • Missing: over 4900
    • Injured: over 5,300
  • Evacuees (As of May)
    • Over 124,000

Main cause of physical damage was enormous tsunami

Source: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

the great east japan earthquake led to a compound of disasters
The Great East Japan Earthquake led to a compound of disasters

Structure of the chain of

compound damage



  • 2:46 pm, Mar 11
    • Magnitude 9.0 earthquake at Sanriku coast

(1)Primary damage


  • 3:51 pm, Mar 11
    • 9.3m tsunami strikes Soma city, Fukushima prefecture

Nuclear power plant

  • 3:36 pm, Mar 12
    • Fukushima Dai-ichi Reactor 1 structure collapses
    • Atomic fuel meltdown occurs


Secondary damage caused by material factors

Power shortage

  • Mar 14 ~
    • Rolling blackouts in Kanto prefectures in March

Suspicion of safety of

Japanese products


  • Mar 14 ~
    • At least 50 countries/regions, starting with H.K. & China, impose import restrictions apart from products restricted by the Japanese Gvt.


Secondary damage caused by psychological factors

Plummet in

foreign touristnumbers

  • Mar~
    • Visitors decrease 50%compared to 2010

Source: literature research, The Boston Consulting Group


After the Ise Bay typhoon in 1959, the Japanese government made extensive effort to develop the disaster prevention systemHistory of disasters in Japan




Policies introduced

Nobi earthquake



Government made aware of the importance of earthquake measures

  • Former Ministry of Education established a disaster prevention investigation committee [disaster risk reduction]
    • Began earthquake resistance structure research
      • Researched Western earthquake resistance construction

Great Kanto




  • Unprecedented damage
    • Buildings constructed using Western earthquake resistance technology collapsed
  • Revised town construction law[disaster risk reduction]
    • First earthquake resistance regulations in the world




First major earthquake after WW2, causing massive damage

  • Revised construction standards law[disaster risk reduction]
    • Doubled the horizontal seismic coefficient

Ise Bay typhoon



  • Inadequate government role in disaster prevention
    • Led by local groups such as flood fighting teams
    • Inappropriate warning systems
    • Inadequate seawalls and dams
  • Enacted the Disaster Countermeasures Basic Act[governance]
    • Established Central Disaster Prevention Council headed by the Prime Minister
  • Built early warning system [early disaster warning]
    • Radar on the summit of Mt. Fuji
    • Launched Himawari weather satellite
  • Built seawalls [disaster risk reduction]

Source: Emergency White Paper (2010), The Boston Consulting Group


After the Hanshin Awaji earthquake in 1995, top-down deployment and strengthening building structure was a priorityHistory of disasters in Japan (cont\'d)




Policies introduced

Miyagi earthquake



Many concrete apartment buildings thought to be resistant collapsed

  • Major revision of construction standards[disaster risk reduction]
    • Introduced new earthquake resistance design law
      • buildings that would not collapse even under a force 7 earthquake



Tsunami arrived before the warning system could function

Shortened forecast time from five minutes to

three minutes [early warning]





  • No output from earthquake prediction research
  • 98% of buildings that were destroyed were built before the amended construction law
  • Local government functions were stopped by the disaster
    • Notification reached the PM two hours after the earthquake
    • Delayed response by firefighters and self defense forces
    • Delay in identifying damage in each area
  • Unable to rebuild based on donations alone
  • Earthquake early warning system implemented [early warning]
    • Switched from earthquake prediction
  • Enacted earthquake resistance improvement law[disaster risk reduction]
    • Improving earthquake resistance of existing structures became a key issue
  • Rapid top-down response [emergency/recovery response]
    • Established Cabinet information gathering center and crisis center at the PM\'s residence
    • Law revised to enable quick response by firefighters and self defense forces
    • Increased seismic observation points for immediate identification of damage in each area
  • Recovery support for victims [emergency/recovery response]
    • Government financial support up to \3M

Hanshin Awaji


Source: Emergency White Paper (2010), The Boston Consulting Group

The framework of Disaster Countermeasure Basic Act in Japan was crystallized and disseminated globally as the Hyogo Framework for Action

Outline of the UN World Conferenceon disaster prevention

Key points of Hyogo Framework for Action

  • January, 2005
    • 10th anniversary of Great Hanshin quake
  • Kobe city, Hyogo prefecture
  • United Nations
    • Chairperson was the Japanese Minister responsible for disaster prevention
  • HFA crystallized the framework of the Disaster Countermeasures Basic Act, proposed as the global guideline
    • Governance
    • Comprehensive approach to disaster prevention process
      • Risk identification, assessment, monitoring and early warning
      • Knowledge management &education
      • Reducing underlyingrisk factors
      • Preparedness foreffective response &recovery


Organizational, legal and policy framework

  • Create multi-sector national platforms
    • To provide policy guidance
    • To coordinate activities


Risk identification, assessment, monitoring

  • Tools need to be developed
    • Risk maps
    • Risk indicators
    • Early warning



Knowledge management, education

  • Develop community-based disaster risk management
    • Formal/ informal education
    • Training activities

Reducing underlying factors

  • Mainstream disaster risk considerations into planning procedures
    • Infrastructure
    • Natural resources

Preparedness for effective response and recovery

  • Strengthen policy, technical and institutional capacities
    • Nation level
    • Local level

Source: Cabinet Office; Asian Disaster Reduction Center; The Boston Consulting group

the japan self defense force drilling enabled 30 minutes deployment
The Japan Self Defense Force drilling enabled 30 minutes deployment

11 aircrafts responded within 30 mins after the disaster headquarters established

The JSDF held its largest drill "Michinoku ALERT 2008"

Speedy expansion of rescue operations

  • Ground JSDF No. 21 Infantry Regiment, stationed at Akita Garrison, arrived in Kamaishi City, Iwate Pref. approx 7:30am
    • After establishing the ir base, they commenced rescue operations for Hakozaki Town, which was completely isolated due to roads being cut by the tsunami.
  • All debris was removed 2 days later, and emergency goods were delivered twice daily to the community



Oct 31 – Nov 1, 2008

March 112:46







  • Quake approx magnitude 6 off Miyagi Pref coast, tsunami hits Sanriku coast
    • Drill conducted in region badly affected by this disaster


Quake hits




JSDF Disaster Response HQ established


  • Total 18,000 participants in 22 towns in Iwate & Miyagi Pref, and 6 prefectures of Tohoku Region
    • 9,839 SDF personnel



  • (11 mins )
  • UH-1 Helicopter equipped with image transmission system takes-off
    • 1aircraft
  • (25 mins )
  • UH-1takes-off
    • 1aircraft
  • In cooperation with local authorities, fire dept, residents, practiced life rescue and welfare support
    • After the drill, held regular meetings between the city/town/village & the unit in charge during the drill
    • Each time, they checked on communities at risk of isolation from a tsunami



  • (30mins )
  • P-3CPatrol aircraft takes-off
    • 1aircraft


  • (7mins )
  • UH-60 Rescue Helicopter takes-off from Ohminato
  • 1aircraft
  • (25mins )P-3CPatrolaircraft takes-off
    • 1aircraft
  • (15mins )
  • F-15 fighters take-off from Hyakuri,Misawa& Komatsu bases
    • six aircrafts


Source: Ministry of Defense; The Boston Consulting Group


■The Great East Japan Earthquake

■ It’s all about “boundaries”

■ Implications and our challenge

it s all about boundaries
It’s all about “boundaries”

1. Boundary between ministries and ministries

2. Boundary between public and private sector

3. Boundary between traditional media and social media

Source: The Boston Consulting Group, Japan PMO Office of Global Communications

it s all about boundaries1
It’s all about “boundaries”

1. Boundary between ministries and ministries

-Minimized range of voice.

-Shortened message development chain within PMO and dissemination to ministers.

-Formed Emergency team with advertising agencies to advice each ministries communications.

-Had daily message meeting to integrate as many touch points as possible.


PMO internal


Emergency adviser team with ad agencies





it s all about boundaries2
It’s all about “boundaries”

2. Boundary between public and private sector

-Identify roles and responsibilities of each sector.

-Set up casual relationship to communicate.

-Frequent cross sector communication.

  • Google Person Finder
    • photos of evacuation center name lists uploaded via Picasa
    • 320,000 postings were made within 1 week
  • Twitter hash-tags
    • call for help: #j_j_helpme
    • confirm safety: #anpi
  • Google Crisis Response traffic results map
    • Roads where traffic successfully passed through the previousday were shown
  • Seven Eleven convenient stores
    • Outlets as wall paper distribution
it s all about boundaries3
It’s all about “boundaries”

3. Boundary between traditional media and social media

-Feed back effect between traditional and social.

-In affected area, hard to secure stable internet access. Traditional need to complement.

-Shortened message development chain within PMO and dissemination to affected area.

-Utilized both public/private sector access to maximize reach.

-Leverage any traditional/social media and touch points.

Press conference of government staffs, Newspaper ad, radio, HP, Twitter, Facebook, community radio, wall paper……


no magic it s all about persistency4
No magic. It’s all about “persistency”.



Wall paper in affected area


no magic it s all about persistency5
No magic. It’s all about “persistency”.


Wall paper in affected area


key lessons from past tsunamis had been weathered away
Key lessons from past tsunamis had been weathered away

Tsunami of similar proportion hit the Sanriku area in 1896 and 1933

...people in the Sanriku area built stone monuments to warn their descendants...

...some people ignored those warnings and suffered from the tsunami

  • People make decisions based on convenience and choose to ignore the lessons from the past.
    • "Since fishing is my only means of earning a living, it would be too much trouble getting to and from work if I built my home on the hill"
    • "I know the dangers of tsunami, but don\'t think one will come in my lifetime"
  • Homes built below the monument were washed away, and 304 people died.
  • Due to the rias coastal characteristics of the region, they have experienced tsunamis before
  • 1896Meiji Sanriku Tsunami
    • magnitude 8.5 earthquake
    • 22,066fatalities
    • 8891houses washed away
  • 1933Showa Sanriku Great Tsunami
    • magnitude8.1 earthquake
    • 1522fatalities
    • 4885houses washed away
  • Ancestors erected stone monuments marking the point reached by the tsunami, engraved with the warning "Do not build homes below this point"
  • A high dwelling is peace and harmony for children and grandchildren. Remember the tsunami calamity. Do not build below this point
  • In 1896 and 1933, tsunami reached this area and the settlement was destroyed, only 2 survived in front, and 4 behind
  • Precaution is needed no matter how many years pass

Before & after the Showa Sanriku Great Tsunami

Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture

Miyako City, Iwate Prefecture

Source: "The Study of Mistakes, "Hatamura Institute for the Advancement of Technology; Tokyo University Earthquake Research Institute, The Boston Consulting Group