August 26, 2011 Tokyo
Building a safer, more resilient society is key to Japan’s recovery from the 11 March earthquake and tsunami, explains UNU Vice-Rector Kazuhiko Takeuchi in an interview for the International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences (IATSS).
Prof. Takeuchi is a key member of the IATSS, an international organization dedicated to pursuing interdisciplinary and international efforts to make transportation safer around the world. In the interview, he outlines his role in the current IATSS Special Project on “creating a safe and disaster-prepared society”.
The “unanticipated amount of damage” caused by the March disasters revealed the “limitations of civil engineering”, Prof. Takeuchi says. “Society must build up its ability to softly handle a disaster like this…[and] involve everyone in how to build a resilient society.”
Japan faces many complicated and long-term challenges on the road to recovery. Prof. Takeuchi suggests it will be necessary to “completely rethink how to live in harmony with nature” as well as to interact and communicate openly with the international community to share experiences and lessons learned.