Risk Management Regime and Its Scope for Transition in Tokyo

Nishi, Maiko, Pelling, Mark, Yamamuro, Masumi, Solecki, William and Kraines, Steven B., (2017). Risk Management Regime and Its Scope for Transition in Tokyo. Journal of Extreme Events, 3(3), 1650011-1-1650011-29

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Nishi, Maiko
    Pelling, Mark
    Yamamuro, Masumi
    Solecki, William
    Kraines, Steven B.
    Title Risk Management Regime and Its Scope for Transition in Tokyo
    Appearing in Journal of Extreme Events
    Volume 3
    Issue No. 3
    Publication Date 2017-02-02
    Place of Publication Singapore
    Publisher World Scientific Publishing Company
    Start page 1650011-1
    End page 1650011-29
    Language eng
    Abstract Coastal megacities are highly vulnerable to climate change due to asset concentration and hazard exposure, but have potential for innovative risk management taking advantage of technological, economic and political capacities and cultural assets. Tokyo is the center of one of the world’s largest urban agglomerations and one of the most hazard prone global cities. Having experienced repeated extreme events and resultant devastation, Tokyo has deployed a strategy of high technology based risk management. In the face of climate risks that amplify ongoing threats from catastrophic earthquakes, it is unclear whether the current strategy and its attendant culture and administrative structures are an enabler or a barrier for climate change adaptation. Based on 24 expert interviews, this paper examines Tokyo’s readiness to transition from its current risk management orientation aimed at disaster prevention towards more resilient of transformative states. We find the current risk management regime has been moving towards resilience planning promoted by the national policy architecture and the leadership of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government by incorporating self-help and community-cooperation into a long-standing strategy of resistance. This strategy continues to be dominated by technological, rather than social policy and so misses an opportunity for a broader contribution to sustainable development. The current approach may work for the near future but is perhaps less well suited to long-term risk management which includes highly uncertain future climate risks and potential social change. Transition is impeded by structural bottlenecks in the city authority while strategic partnerships between different stakeholders can facilitate transition of public values. Realizing this flexibility will position Tokyo’s risk management regime to better play a role in longer-term sustainable development.
    Keyword Climate adaptation
    Copyright Holder The Authors
    Copyright Year 2016
    Copyright type Creative commons
    DOI https://doi.org/10.1142/S2345737616500111
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