Housing recovery and displacement from Fukushima: Five years post-nuclear meltdown

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Recovery from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami is ongoing in Japan’s northeast Tohoku region. Facing aging and depopulation even before the tsunami, planning and implementation of recovery projects to support the reconstruction of residents’ lives and ensure a sustainable future of tsunami-devastated coastal towns is complex. In addition to earthquake and tsunami damage, people and communities in Fukushima Prefecture face additional challenges from contamination by nuclear radiation and resulting long-term displacement. Based on established approaches to disaster recovery in Japan, Tohoku’s recovery policies and projects were developed after 2011. Recovery planning for Fukushima towns includes projects used in municipalities throughout Tohoku, along with initiatives to address issues related to radioactive contamination and displacement after the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. For housing and life recovery of affected residents, these policies form a patchwork approach. Compared to earthquake-damaged houses that can be repaired or rebuilt on former lots, or even decisions in tsunami-affected communities about where to rebuild residential areas, questions of recovery for residents displaced by radioactive contamination are more complex. Based on ‘hometown recovery,’ existing Japanese approaches to disaster recovery and housing reconstruction are not designed to address issues faced by nuclear evacuees from Fukushima. Key questions about disaster recovery and housing reconstruction in Fukushima include: how should policies support housing and life recovery when people can’t go home, or communities are split between returnees and evacuees? This chapter considers the issues of housing and life recovery in Fukushima’s disaster recovery context 5 years after the triple disaster.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAdvances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research
    PublisherSpringer Netherlands
    Number of pages21
    Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1

    Publication series

    NameAdvances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research
    ISSN (Print)1878-9897
    ISSN (Electronic)2213-6959


    • Displacement
    • Fukushima
    • Great East Japan Earthquake
    • Housing recovery
    • IDP
    • Recovery planning

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Global and Planetary Change
    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Economic Geology
    • Computers in Earth Sciences
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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