Japanese people have tended to trust the government and science & technology so much.
These are one of what we learned from recent disasters. After the second world war, Japanese gov. has built high sea walls along the coastline especially potential risk areas all over Japan. We have also developed warning systems along with rapid economic growth. Not only those, but we have also developed soft countermeasures such as disaster education and training, especially after the 1995 Kobe Earthquake. After the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (GEJET) disaster, we have realized what has happened because of our over trust to the government and science&technology. This is why Japanese gov. has particularly focused on the community since the disaster, establishing a new frame on the community disaster planning in the disaster countermeasure basic act. The recovery plans on the affected coastal communities tended to change more integrated manners and so did disaster countermeasures than before, looks like turning back to the time when we did not have advanced science and technologies.
We need to know the limitations of the gov. and science&technology’s roles. We also can consider the demographic change to do the job for disaster risk reductions. For example, Japan is facing a severe aging society, so our government resources will be decreasing to cover the situations. We need to have more self-help and mutual help than public help.
Learning from the lessons and past wisdom with those considerations is also very important. “Inamura no Hi” is one of the important lessons we can learn from the past.
“Inamura no Hi” is a story of a man who noticed a precursor of a large tsunami at the earliest stage and led village inhabitants to a higher ground by burning harvested rice sheaves. This story was based on a true story at the time of Ansei-Nankai Tsunami (1854), which claimed around 3,000 lives in the coastal areas of Western Japan (ADRC).
Hirokawa Town’s video well explains the background of the story in short and their tsunami disaster education.