Disaster Recovery and the Management of Destructive Public Conflict in Japan

Event Date: October 19, 2016 - 4 p.m.
Location: Campus Center, 3rd Floor, Room 3545

Professor Hironori Ito, dean of the Graduate School of Social & Cultural Science at Kumamoto University, Japan and students will present on the disaster management efforts in Kumamoto and Fukushima and the resulting conflict transformation approaches undertaken as well as post-disaster recovery efforts there.

The discussion will shed light on how public research universities like Kumamoto University and UMass Boston can contribute to the resolution of complex problems in our cities, states, countries and worldwide.

Event Agenda

  • Opening remarks by Provost Winston Langley
  • Presentation by Dean Hironori Ito
  • Presentation by Kumamoto students
  • Refreshments and reflections



The Eastern Japan Great Earthquake in March 2011 claimed approximately 16,000 lives. Some 3,000 people are still missing, more than 120,000 homes and buildings were completely destroyed, and more than 250,000 were partially destroyed. Following the earthquake, the explosion of the first Fukushima nuclear plant occurred, a level 7 incident which led to meltdowns of the nuclear reactors and the release of radioactive materials and particles all over Japan as well as other countries.

Yet the attempt and effort put forth towards carrying out the cooling down operation have not been completed, gravely resulting in a stagnant economy crippling the livelihood of the local people.

In April this year, two earthquakes measuring as high as 7.3 on the Richter scale killed at least 49 people and injured about 3,000 others in total in Kumamoto Prefecture in Kyushu Region, Japan. Severe damage occurred in Kumamoto and Ōita Prefectures, with numerous structures collapsing and catching fire. More than 44,000 people were evacuated from their homes due to the disaster.

The resulting effect on human relationships aggravates and obstructs the process of recovery that is all too often left unsolved and passed on to the next generation.

As the host of Japan’s only conflict resolution program, Kumamoto University is at the frontline of solving these complex social problems.

For disability-related accommodations, including dietary accommodations, please visit www.ada.umb.edu two weeks prior to the event.