Experiencing the March 11, 2011 Earthquake

Patrick, Hugh T.

This report serves three purposes: to record my observations and impressions from being in Tokyo before and after the March 11 earthquake; to summarize trips to Kobe and across Honshu to the Japan Sea coastal area; and to provide some thoughts as further information became available during April. Japan now faces its worst crisis since World War II. The earthquake quickly became a triple disaster. The immense tsunami generated by the earthquake hit the Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefecture coastlines with great devastation and loss of more than 22,000 lives. The tsunami also crippled the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, creating potential radiation threats and global repercussions for energy policy. Many of the effects of the triple disaster are long-lasting, and the flow of new, important information requires a continual revision of our understanding. This is particularly true regarding the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant and electricity shortages, as well as development of energy policy. Accordingly, early May is my cut-off date for new information.

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Academic Units
Center on Japanese Economy and Business
Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Columbia University
Center on Japanese Economy and Business Occasional Papers, 57
Published Here
August 11, 2011