Organization for University Research InitiativesWaseda University


Institute for Research on Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake/ Composed Crisis Research Institute



Concluded Laboratory 2016/03/31

Director : Tomoya SHIBAYAMA
Professor,Faculty of Science and Engineering

Research theme

Past enormous historical disasters, including the Great East Japan Earthquake, will be analyzed, and their characteristics as complex disasters will be clarified. New disaster prevention / disaster mitigation systems will be proposed based on the results of this analysis.

Overview of research

  1. Tsunami Damage Mechanisms: This research institute will reconsider the characteristics of tsunami envisioned within disaster response plans on a national level. It will create new evacuation plans that are usable even for tsunami that exceed the envisioned scales of conventional response plans. In doing so, we will reconfigure response plans across the nation and develop methods for how this may be done. Specifically, there is a need to reconsider the tsunami hazard maps that already exist in each city across the country, and to rethink prefectural level disaster prevention plans. Focus should also be placed on earthquakes thought to be previously relatively unlikely and thus not covered in existing disaster response plans. There is a need to revise tsunami prediction simulations and tsunami models, setting predicted wave height levels to higher values. This requires the strengthening of “hard” countermeasures such as the modification of tsunami floodgates, raising of existing disaster prevention structures such as tsunami floodwalls, the automating of tsunami floodgate closure operations, and so on. In addition, the recent tsunami made clear that it is difficult to protect residential areas using disaster protection structures alone, and thus there is also a need to consider “soft” countermeasures such as the reworking of evacuation planning at the municipal level.
  2. Environmental Impact: The environmental problems brought about by the tsunami will be researched. A comprehensive field study will be carried out, and wide scale response techniques will be discussed for such difficult issues as the dispersal of dust containing hazardous substances due to operations to remove debris and sediment that contains chemical sludge, the dispersal of asbestos due to shipbreaking work on vessels washed ashore by the tsunami, the widespread diffusion of radioactive substances due to the nuclear power station incident, the resulting contamination of farmland topsoil and agricultural products, and the contamination of groundwater resulting from radioactive substances seeping into the ground.
  3. A Complex Mega Crisis: Focusing on the Fukushima nuclear power station disaster that occurred following the Great East Japan Earthquake, the disaster processes of “cause assessments,” “impact assessments,” “countermeasure assessments,” and “area rehabilitation” will be considered from both a social science and engineering point of view. Research will be done on four topic clusters. (1) Political / administrative / business systems: an analysis of the political structure / administrative structure / business structure that led to the Fukushima nuclear power station disaster, and research into the ideal states of risk communication, legal frameworks, policy integration, and political/administrative/business factors for reconstruction in the future. (2) Nuclear energy / technology systems: a technical analysis of the Fukushima nuclear power station accident, research into the technical systems for safety management and accident response, environmental impact assessments, and so on. (3) Sustainable energy / technology systems: research into the ideal state of distributed energy systems incorporating renewable energy, smart energy, smart cities, and the technical foundations of sustainable energy strategies. (4) Area reconstruction systems: research on the ideal state of area reconstruction initiatives based on policy integration, from the viewpoint of municipal authorities, regional communities, small-scale settlement management systems, local businesses operational systems, and so on.


Tomoya SHIBAYAMA (Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering)
Teruhiko YODA (Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering)
Kazuo KAMURA (Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering)
Shunji MATSUOKA (Professor, Faculty of International Liberal Studies)




Faculty of Science and Engineering Coastal Engineering Laboratory
E-mail:[email protected]

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