Crisis Management as Public Policy in Japan: Development of Local Collaboration in the Aftermath of the March 2011 Triple Disaster
AKIRA NAKAMURA, Japanese Association for the Study of Crisis Management
On 11 March 2011, Japan experienced one of the worst disasters in recent memory, essentially a triple disaster comprising of an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant crisis. Officially designated as the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE), it disclosed several shortcomings in crisis and contingency management by the government in Japan. Local government preparedness, for instance, was too narrow in scope to be effective in the event of catastrophes. Similarly, there was no developed plan for an orchestrated effort among the public sector, private businesses and non-government organizations. According to traditional thinking, local governments alone were to be responsible for addressing and managing disasters. In addition, connecting "Public-Private Partnership" (PPP) is an idea that has not yet been considered. Notwithstanding, public-public horizontal coordination did occur, and the debacle also revealed many instances of inter-governmental partnership among various local governments. This article looks at different patterns of such partnership and collaboration, and concludes that the massive relief operations initiated by these local units substantially helped expedite rehabilitation of the distressed region.