?Five years after the Triple Disaster--the earthquake, tsunami, and the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant--the national government's response is often criticized. However, despite the magnitude of the disaster, the recovery and reconstruction have been rapid. If it is true that the Japanese government has failed in the response to the nuclear accident but succeeded in the recovery and reconstruction from the earthquake and tsunami, it must be acknowledged that both failure and success come out of the same characteristics of the same system. Starting from this premise, this anthology attempts to conduct a reassessment of the national response to the Great East Japan Earthquake and its aftermath from the perspective of the social sciences, ranging from politics, economics, community sociology, public administration, and communication studies. It takes care to distinguish assessment of short-term responses to the disaster from the necessity for long-term changes in society. How has the recovery process proceeded in such fields as reconstruction of public infrastructure, housing reconstruction, support for evacuees, reopening schools, and debris disposal? Was TEPCO's precaution and post-disaster response inappropriate to the accident? What were the critical issues to be discussed in the crisis communication of national and local government? Has the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident provided momentum to bring about revolutionary changes to nuclear power plant safety in Japan and Japan's energy policy? This collaboration attempts to provide perspective in a time of turmoil.
?Keiichi Tsunekawa is senior professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies and professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo.