Department of Human and Social Systems

Disaster Prevention with Hardware and Software Approaches

  • (1) 貧困をなくそう

  • (9) 産業と技術革新の基盤をつくろう

  • (10) 人や国の不平等をなくそう

  • (11) 住み続けられるまちづくりを


 Japan has entered a period of high seismic activity. Within next 30 to 50 years, magnitude 8 (M8) class earthquakes may happen 4, 5 times and M7 class earthquakes may strike Japan 40 to 50 times. Typical one with magnitude 7 is Tokyo Metropolitan inland earthquake and those with magnitude 8 are great earthquakes along Nankai-Trough. The Central Disaster Prevention Council estimated the damage by the linked gigantic earthquake (M9 class) along the Nankai Trough at about 220 trillion yen, and Tokyo Metropolitan inland earthquake at about 95 trillion yen, and the number of damaged buildings (totally collapsed or burned) at more than 3 million buildings, and the number of deaths to be about 350,000. However, these cover only the damage caused by the fire spread and the tsunami immediately after the disaster. In June 2018, the Japan Society of Civil Engineers estimated and announced the long-term (20 years) economic loss from these disasters about 1,541 trillion yen from the Nankai Trough earthquake and about 855 trillion yen from Tokyo Metropolitan earthquake.

  There are three roles for disaster management: "Self-help Effort (SE), Mutual Assistance (MA), Public Support (PS)". It is expected that the proportion of "PS" will decrease in the future, therefore, in order to cover the decrease of PS, securing and continuing the activities of “SE” and “MA” is necessary. For its implementation, it is essential to improve the environment to bring physical and mental benefits to the stakeholders of “SE” and “MA.”
The important keywords here are “from cost to value” and “phase-free”. The conventional disaster countermeasures that are considered to be costs are the ones that ends once being done and do not have continuity, and also the effect cannot be found unless a disaster occurs. However, disaster countermeasures which increase value become the ones that can be maintained continuously regardless of the occurrence of a disaster as they bring always reliability and brand power to the organization and the region in both normal and disaster time. "Phase-free" disaster countermeasures are services, products, and ways of life, that improve the quality of life in normal period and also their functions can be continuously used even in a condition of disaster, bring new additional value.

Based on the recognition above, our group conducts strategic research to realize a disaster-resilient society from both "hardware and software," and "international and domestic" viewpoints.

Instructor / Laboratory