Six and a half years after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE), recovery and reconstruction have been steadily progressing in terms of infrastructure and town development. However, it is a fact that there are still many problems to be tackled in some areas. In addition, communicating the lessons learned from the GEJE is important and should be promoted to improve disaster management in Japan and overseas. The Tohoku Regional Development Bureau (TRDB) held a symposium, “Efforts for Recovery and Reconstruction from the GEJE,” at the World Bosai Forum (WBF) on November 27, 2017. Mayors from the disaster areas, Rikuzentakata city in Iwate prefecture, Ishinomaki city in Miyagi prefecture, and Shinchi town in Fukushima prefecture, and a director of the TRDB presented their projects aiming to “build back better,” and they discussed how they had made efforts toward recovery and reconstruction, mainly in terms of infrastructure and town development. It was confirmed in the discussion that for the reconstruction, steadily advancing safe and secure town development, including multiple defense, was necessary. In addi-tion, software measures, such as disaster education and evacuation drills, are important, as are hardware improvements through reconstruction. Both hardware and software countermeasures should be like a two wheels. It was also asserted that passing down the memories and the lessons of the disaster, not allow-ing their memories to fade away with time, was im-portant. The speakers showed a variety of approaches to transmitting their memories to future generations in their areas or projects. Then, they emphasized that if people prepared for disaster based on these lessons in advance, there would surely be less damage. Fi-nally, speakers shared the recognition that to realize the above, many actors in the Tohoku district should mutually cooperate to transmit the situation of reconstruction and the lessons of the GEJE.
- Build back better
- Hand down the memories of the disaster
- Recovery and reconstruction
- The Great East Japan Earthquake