How Japan and the World Should Respond

Tetsuo Takashima
Translated and edited by Robert D. Eldridge

216 pages
3 tables


February 2015


$27.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
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February 2015


$27.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

In March 2011 a magnitude 9 earthquake struck off the eastern coast of northern Japan, triggering a massive tsunami and damaging a nearby nuclear reactor. Nearly twenty thousand people were killed or went missing, and many areas have yet to rebuild. Megaquake: How Japan and the World Should Respond, authored by the prolific and award-winning writer Tetsuo Takashima five years before this disaster, appears here for the first time in English.

This edition of Megaquake has been updated with additional information, including a new chapter coauthored by Robert D. Eldridge, translator and one of the key American officials involved in the response to the 2011 earthquake. Both Takashima and Eldridge experienced the 1995 Kobe earthquake and combined their skills and insights to produce this English-language edition to offer the lessons Japan has learned over the centuries, having endured a disproportionate share of disasters. Takashima and Eldridge hope to educate the international community about how to prepare for and respond to the next big Japanese earthquake, which is expected to far exceed the 2011 quake in terms of lives lost, destruction of infrastructure, and worldwide economic impact.

Author Bio

TETSUO TAKASHIMA is a well-known Japanese writer. His debut novel, Fallout, has been translated into English. ROBERT D. ELDRIDGE is the deputy assistant chief of staff (G-7, government and external affairs) for the Marine Corps Installations Pacific. He speaks regularly to audiences in Japan on disaster planning and response. He is the author of numerous books, including most recently The Origins of U.S. Policy in the East China Sea Islands Dispute: Okinawa’s Reversion and the Senkaku Islands.


“The most obvious threats are often the most neglected, despite elected governments’ responsibility to protect. . . . Takashima and Eldridge provide a compelling study of disaster preparedness and response with insights for Japan and the U.S. Their case for greater coordination and preparation is must-reading for officials of both nations.”—Wallace C. Gregson, Lieutenant General USMC (retired) and senior director, China and the Pacific, Center for the National Interest

“If more people had read this book in Japanese prophesying the megaquake in Japan prior to the Great East Japan Earthquake, we would have been able to minimize the damage. After experiencing the 3.11 disasters, Japan must seriously come to grips with this reality. And now, English readers can learn from Japan’s experience through this book.”—Kensuke Onishi, CEO of Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management

Table of Contents

Translator’s Foreword    
1. A Megaquake in Tokyo    
2. Problems That Will Emerge Following a Megaquake    
3. Trench-Type Megaquakes    
4. Tsunamis    
5. Disaster Prevention and Reduction    
6. What the Government of Japan Is Doing Now and Should Continue to Do in the Future    
Appendix: Japan Meteorological Agency Seismic Intensity Scale    

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