Working Papers

  • Rethinking Human Security after the March 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Accident

    FGC Working Paper # 1, March 2014

    Christopher Hobson, Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan)

    This working paper focuses on perceptions of human security in Japan, both before and after the 11 March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in northeastern Japan. The paper argues, among other things, that the relevance of a human security approach following the triple disaster in Japan contradicts common assumptions that human insecurity only affects the Global South. (PDF download)



    The Experiences of People with Functional Needs in Times of Disasters: Results from the 2013 Sendai Grass-roots Assessment Workshop

    FGC Working Paper #2, February 2015

    Shigeo Tatsuki, Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan)

    This working paper provides an in-depth assessment of the functional needs of people with disabilities immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011. Using a workshop setting, a group of 41 individuals shared information about the challenges they faced following the disaster, classified into four different timeframes: 0-10 hours, 10-100 hours, 100-1,000 hours, 1,000+ hours after the disaster. (PDF download)



    Did Cash for Work Programs Promote Recovery from the March 2011 Disasters?

    FGC Working Paper #3, February 2015

    Shingo Nagamatsu, Kansai University (Osaka, Japan)

    This working paper provides insight into experiences with cash for work (CFW) programmes aimed at facilitating recovery after the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident. The assessment considers both the strengths and weaknesses of the programmes and concludes with policy recommendations. (PDF download)




    Rebuilding Trust after Fukushima

    FGC Working Paper #4, March 2015

    Christopher Hobson, Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan)

    This working paper considers the importance of fully considering the social dimensions of recovery processes, drawing on lessons learned from the post-disaster recovery process in Japan’s Tohoku region. It concludes with policy recommendations that can inform future disaster recovery efforts, which the author suggests may grow increasingly frequent in the future. (PDF download)



    Great East Japan Earthquake and Disaster Medicine: The Response of Iwate Prefecture and Lessons Learned

    FGC Working Paper #5, March 2015 (in Japanese)

    Shinji Akitomi, Iwate Medical University (Iwate, Japan)

    This paper shares lessons learned from the experience of the medical team of Iwate Prefecture’s disaster response headquarters in the immediate aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011. Highlighting the fragmented and often misleading information available during the immediate response phase, the paper emphasizes the need to build effective command, control and communication system in the process of organizing rescue and medical relief operations. (PDF download)



    Transition Challenges in the Recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake: A View from an International Disaster Risk Reduction Perspective

    FGC Working Paper #6, March 2015 (in Japanese)

    Eiko Ishikawa, Chiba University (Chiba, Japan)

    This paper discusses challenges in the area of housing reconstruction during the response-to-recovery transition after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Noting the importance of developing well-coordinated plans between different administrative levels and in consultation with the affected communities, the paper explains how housing needs tend to evolve during the transition phase and puts into perspective the challenge of enabling smooth transition from temporary to proper housing. (PDF download)



    Understanding Effective Risk Communication in the Context of a Radiological Accident

    FGC Working Paper #7, October 2015

    Akiko Sato, United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (Tokyo, Japan)

    This working paper presents the results of a review of the literature relevant to disaster risk communication, and explains its dynamic nature from psychological and socio-anthropological perspectives. The paper explores the specific challenges of risk perception and communication in the context of radiological accidents, and draws lessons from the risk-communication practices in relation to past nuclear disasters. (PDF download)



    Mental Health Impact of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: Post-Traumatic Stress and Psycho-Socio-Economic Factors

    FGC Working Paper #8, December 2015

    Takuya Tsujiuchi, Waseda University

    This working paper provides an in-depth assessment on social and psychological impacts of the Fukushima nuclear accident based on a multi-year, multi-method research project. The paper discusses serious concerns of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in evacuees. (PDF download)




    Decision Making and Gender Inequality: In the Process of “Reconstruction” after the Fukushima Nuclear Accident

    FGC Working Paper #9, December 2015

    Nanako Shimizu, Utsunomiya University

    This working paper assesses gender issues in relation to decision-making processes in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear accident. The paper highlights the importance of capturing and reflecting the voices of women, especially mothers with small children, in the disaster-recovery policies and support for the affected people. (PDF download)




    Information Environment Surrounding the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident and its Radiation Problem – from a Viewpoint of Science Technology Communication

    FGC Working Paper #10, December 2015

    Mamoru Ito, Waseda University

    This working paper analyzes the roles of media, governments’ public relations and experts since the Fukushima nuclear accident in the three phases: (1) initial response to the accident, (2) after the reveal of the release of radioactive substances, and (3) from 2014. It articulates the bottlenecks and challenges regarding the information environment.(PDF download)




    Ethnographic Perspective on Oral Narratives of Risk Communication

    FGC Working Paper #11, December 2015

    David H. Slater (Sophia University) and Haruka Danzuka (University of Tokyo)

    Based on in-depth oral narrative interviews with people affected by the Fukushima nuclear accident, this working paper provides an analysis of the performance of the state and its associated scientists in their effort to communicate risk information to the lay community and citizens. In conclusion it attempts to summarize key lessons about the management of disaster information. (PDF download)




    Gender Difference in Risk Perception following the Fukushima Nuclear Plant Disaster

    FGC Working Paper #12, December 2015

    Rika Morioka, Myanmar Partners in Policy and Research

    This working paper focuses on gender difference in the perception of radiation risk after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and assesses how socio-cultural norms and values influence risk perceptions and affect disaster-recovery policies. The paper provides policy recommendations that can address the challenges stemmed from the perception differences and traditional masculine norms. (PDF download)




    Risk Communication Programs after the Fukushima Nuclear Accident: A Comparison of Epistemic Cultures

    FGC Working Paper #13, December 2015

    Aya H. Kimura, University of Hawaii-Manoa

    This paper discusses how risk communication is formed in actual practice. The paper explores citizen radiation measuring organizations as an example of risk communication that supports public involvement and actives participation. (PDF download)




    Comparative Views on Ways of Communicating Risks: Radiation and Chemical Pollution

    FGC Working Paper #14, December 2015

    Takehiko Murayama, Tokyo Institute of Technology

    This paper looks at decontamination processes implemented by four municipalities in Fukushima prefecture, discusses local stakeholders’ perceptions about the processes, and assesses factors which contribute to participatory discussions on decontamination. In addition, this paper draws lessons and insights from the countermeasures against radiation risks after the Fukushima nuclear accident, in comparison with those of other technological hazards. (PDF download)




    Beyond Paternalism and Strategy: Understanding Radiological Risks as a Mutual Learning Experience

    FGC Working Paper #15, December 2015

    Gaston Meskens, Belgian Nuclear Research Center/University of Ghent

    This working paper reflects on ethical aspects of risk governance in general and on issues of post-accident governance in Fukushima in particular. The paper concludes that there is a need for an advanced post-accident governance in Fukushima and that, from a social justice perspective, the participation of the affected citizens in making sense of the risks and in consequent decision making should be the prime concern. (PDF download)




    Risk Communication: Specific Challenges in the Late Phase of Nuclear Emergencies in Beneficiary Engagement. Lessons from CHARP and the Fukushima- Daiichi Accident from a Humanitarian Actor

    FGC Working Paper #16, December 2015

    Martin Krottmayer, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

    This paper shares lessons learned from the experiences from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ interventions in response to the nuclear accidents at Fukushima Daiichi and Chernobyl. Considering humanitarian consequences from the nuclear disasters and long-term effects on the populations, the paper highlights that beneficially communication and engagement is a pillar that adds to the success of recovery measures. (PDF download)




    Local Populations Facing Long Term Consequences of Nuclear Accidents: Lessons Learned from Chernobyl and Fukushima

    FGC Working Paper #17, December 2015

    Gilles Hériard-Dubreuil and Stéphane Baudé (MUTADIS)

    Based on research projects conducted after the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear accidents, this working paper shares insights on the complexity of post-accident situations, involving long-term contamination. The paper emphasizes the importance of the societal mechanisms that facilitate the interactions and cooperation among stakeholders. (PDF download)



    Being “Post-Fukushima”: Divergent Understandings of Sociotechnical Risk

    FGC Working Paper #18, December 2015

    William J. Kinsella, North Carolina State University

    This working paper reviews the Fukushima case as an “emancipatory catastrophe” as conceptualized by the sociologist Ulrich Beck: an event that may provide new insights regarding growing sociotechnical risks and effective forms of risk communication. The paper describes key risk communication participants and the limits of current practices. (PDF download)




    How to Communicate about Radiological Risks? A European Perspective

    FGC Working Paper #19, December 2015

    Tanja Perko, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre/University of Antwerp

    This working paper describes how people understand and perceive radiation and how people process risk related information. The paper also addresses current risk-communication efforts that aim to approach moral values and emotions in the context of nuclear emergencies and empower stakeholders to make an informed decision. (PDF download)



    ICRP 111 and the Reality of Fukushima – from a Clinician’s Viewpoint

    FGC Working Paper #20, December 2015

    Makoto Miyazaki, Fukushima Medical University

    This working paper provides lessons and insights from experiences as a clinician who has interacted with residents affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. He emphasizes the importance of community-based activities that facilitates the communications between experts and the residents. (PDF download)




    From ‘Risk Communication’ to Participatory Radiation Risk Assessment

    FGC Working Paper #21, December 2015

    Masashi Shirabe (Tokyo Institute of Technology),Christine Fassert (Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire) & Reiko Hasegawa (Sciences Po Paris)

    This working paper discusses the limits of traditional risk communication. The paper argues strong needs of understanding of the people’ perceived concerns, as well as the establishment of a participatory assessment mechanism that enables concerned actors to discuss and define risks together, by including counter expertise, especially when scientific uncertainties and controversies are involved. (PDF download)