The Frontiers of Disaster Prevention in the Era of Great Disasters: Ten Years after the Great East Japan Earthquake. 東日本大震災から10年を経て


Ikuo Kabashima,
Governor of Kumamoto Prefecture

Makoto Iokibe,
Chairman of the Reconstruction Design Council in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake

Gi-Wook Shin,
Stanford University

Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis,
Lieutenant Governor of California

Toru Maeda,
Consul General of Japan, San Francisco

Ichiro Sone,
Executive Vice President, JETRO

Yasuhiro Uozumi,
Executive Director of Keidanren USA

Lori Nezhura,
Cal OES Deputy Director of Planning, Preparedness, and Prevention

Akihiro Shibahara,
Research Institute for Earth Science Visualization Technology

Yusuke Oishi​,
Fujitsu Laboratories

Date and Time

March 11, 2021 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM


RSVP Required.


This event is being held virtually via Zoom. Please register for the webinar via the following link/登録はこちらから​:



FSI Contact

This event is co-sponsored with the generous support of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the Japan Society of Northern California, and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California.

Simultaneous interpretation (English <=> Japanese) will be offered. 同時通訳があります。

Ten years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake devastated Japan’s northeast. As a country that has experienced a variety of natural disasters throughout its history, Japan has developed various preventive and remedial technologies and social mechanisms, especially since the 1995 Hanshin Earthquake and the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. California has had similar experiences with natural disasters, particularly earthquakes, and it has developed its own preventive measures. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, this conference features two keynote speakers who have directly dealt with the aftermaths of recent earthquakes in Japan – Makoto Iokibe, who was the Chairman of the Reconstruction Design Council in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake and is the author of The Era of Great Disasters, and Ikuo Kabashima, who as the Governor of Kumamoto led the recovery efforts from a major earthquake in 2016 and flooding in 2020. The conference will also provide a forum for speakers from Japan and California to learn from each other the cutting-edge approaches toward reducing the damages of natural disasters. 


東日本大震災が関東・東北地方に大被害をもたらしてからすでに10年が経とうとしている 。その歴史の中で、多くの自然災害を経験してきた日本は、特に1995年の阪神大震災と2011年の東日本大震災以来、様々な防災・減災のための技術やシステムの開発に取り組んできた。一方で、地震など同じような自然災害を多く経験してきたカリフォルニアでも、独自の災害対策が進められてきた。東日本大震災から10年の節目に当たって、このコンフェレンスでは、東日本大震災復興会議議長として、復興への道のりをリードしてきた五百旗頭真氏(近著「大災害の時代」)と、熊本県知事として、2016年の地震と2020年の水害という大きな災害からの復興を指揮してきた蒲島郁夫氏の二人に基調講演をお願いし、日本の災害と復興の歩みについてご報告いただく。さらには、日本とカリフォルニアそれぞれから防災・減災の最前線で活躍する識者を招き、双方の取り組みについての理解を深め、新たな災害対策の道筋を探ることを目指す。

AGENDA (Pacific Time)

4:00 – 4:15 PM Opening remarks and Greetings from Gi-Wook Shin (Director of Shorenstein APARC, Stanford University), Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis (Lieutenant Governor of California) and Toru Maeda (Consul General of Japan, San Francisco)

4:15 – 5:00 PM Presentation from Cal OES, Keidanren, Fujitsu Laboratories, Research Institute for Earth Science Visualization Technology and JETRO

5:00 – 6:30 PM Keynote speakers: Kumamoto Governor, Ikuo Kabashima

Talk title: Dreams in Adversity & Making the Impossible Possible: The Politics of Disaster Response. 逆境の中にこそ夢がある ~不可能を可能に 災害対応の政治~

Makoto Iokibe, Chairman of the Reconstruction Design Council in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake

Talk title: On Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake. 東日本大震災の復興について

6:30 – 7:00 PM Q&A Session 


Ikuo KabashimaIkuo Kabashima, previously a Professor of Law at the University of Tokyo, became the Governor of Kumamoto Prefecture in 2008 and is currently serving in his fourth term. He displayed his leadership and creative thinking skills when he led the recovery efforts following both the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake and the 2020 Kyushu Flooding disasters. After graduating from high school in Kumamoto he worked at a local agricultural cooperative. Ikuo Kabashima moved to the United States in 1968 as an agricultural research student and enrolled in the faculty of agriculture at the University of Nebraska in 1971, where he researched preservation techniques for pig semen. He entered a Master’s program at the University of Nebraska in 1974. Following this he pursued a Ph.D in Political Economy at Harvard University. After returning to Japan he became a professor at the Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences at Tsukuba University, and eventually became a Professor of Law at the University of Tokyo in 1997 where he specialized in political process theory and quantitative methods in political science. He was named a Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo in 2008. Kabashima has also served as the chairman of the Japanese Association of Electoral Studies and the vice-president of the International Political Science Association (IPSA). Under the guidance of Samuel P. Huntington, he is also credited with achievements for his empirical research on voting behavior and political development theory surrounding political participation in the United States. 


IokibeMakoto Iokibe is Chancellor of the University of Hyogo and President of the Hyogo Earthquake Memorial 21st Century Research Institute. He is also Professor Emeritus of Japanese political and diplomatic history, Kobe University and Former President of the National Defense Academy of Japan. After the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, Professor Iokibe was appointed Chairperson of the Reconstruction Design Council in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake, a government-established advisory panel of scholars and experts for formulating governmental reconstruction guidelines. Following the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake, he served as Chairperson of the Expert Group for Reconstruction and Recovery from the Kumamoto Earthquake. Among his many publications, his volume Nichibeikankeishi (Yuhikaku, 2008) has recently been translated by the Japan Library and published as “The History of US-Japan Relations: From Perry to the Present” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). His most recent book is “The Era of Great Disasters: Japan and Its Three Major Earthquakes” (University of Michigan Press 2020), a translation of Daisaigai no Jidai(Mainichi Shinbun Shuppan 2016).



Gi-Wook ShinGi-Wook Shin, (Stanford University), is the William J. Perry Professor of Contemporary Korea in Sociology and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.  He established Stanford’s Korea Program in 2001 and has been directing the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford since 2005.  His research concentrates on social movements, nationalism, development, and international relations, with focus on Korea and broader Asia. Shin is the author/editor of over 20 books and numerous articles, including Divergent Memories: Opinion Leaders and the Asia-Pacific WarOne Alliance, Two Lenses: U.S.-Korea Relations in a New EraCross Currents: Regionalism and Nationalism in Northeast Asia; and Ethnic Nationalism in Korea.  Shin’s current research initiatives include Global Talent Flows and Rise of Populism and Nationalism. Before coming to Stanford, Shin taught at the University of Iowa and the University of California, Los Angeles. He holds a B.A from Yonsei University in Korea and M.A and Ph.D from the University of Washington.

Eleni-KounalakisAmbassador Eleni Kounalakis, (Lieutenant Governor of California) was sworn in as the 50th Lieutenant Governor of California by Governor Gavin Newsom on January 7th, 2019. She is the first woman elected to the post. From 2010 to 2013, Kounalakis served as US Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary and in 2015 published her acclaimed memoir, “Madam Ambassador, Three Years of Diplomacy, Dinner Parties and Democracy in Budapest” (The New Press). Prior to her service, Kounalakis spent 18 years as an executive at one of California’s most respected housing development firms, AKT Development. Throughout her career, she served on numerous boards and commissions including California’s First 5 Commission, the San Francisco War Memorial, San Francisco Port Commission and the Association of American Ambassadors. Eleni Kounalakis graduated from Dartmouth College in 1989, earned her MBA from U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in 1992 and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the American College of Greece. She is married to Dr. Markos Kounalakis and the couple has two teenage sons, Neo and Eon.

Toru Maeda Toru Maeda, (Consul General of Japan in San Francisco), began his career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 1985 and has been in the foreign service for the last 35 years. Prior to his arrival in San Francisco in February 2020, he served as Minister / Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Japan in Myanmar. Over the past decade, he has held several senior positions in both overseas and domestic assignments, including Director General and subsequently Senior Vice President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Minister / Head of Chancery of the Permanent Mission of Japan in Geneva, and Minister in charge of economic affairs of the Embassy of Japan in Indonesia. His other postings in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs include Director positions in the International Cooperation Bureau and Intelligence and Analysis Service. He received his B.A. in Law from the University of Tokyo and M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Ichiro SoneIchiro Soné, (Executive Vice President, JETRO), was appointed Executive Vice President of the Japan External Trade Organization in October 2019. Previously, Mr. Soné served as Director-General of JETRO Osaka, overseeing the Kansai and Hokuriku regions. Before Osaka, he served as Chief Executive Director of JETRO Chicago, where he oversaw the office’s activities designed to facilitate trade and investment between Japan and 12 Midwestern states. Mr. Soné  joined JETRO in 1988 after graduating Doshisha University in Kyoto with a bachelor’s degree in art and aesthetics. He has a deep knowledge in international business through working in the Trade Fair Department and Invest Japan Department at JETRO Headquarters in Tokyo, and the North America Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His previous overseas postings were JETRO offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.

Yasuhiro Uozumi, (Executive Director of Keidanren USA), Yasuhiro Uozumi has been Executive Director of Keidanren USA since June 2018. Mr. Uozumi joined Keidanren more than two decades ago. In the course of his career there, he is noted for his expertise on such issues as accounting, taxation, industrial policies, transportation and emerging markets, especially in Southeast Asia and Latin America. He also served as Secretary to the Keidanren Chairman. Mr. Uozumi earned his B.A. in Economics at the University of Tokyo and his MBA from Said Business School at the University of Oxford. He also conducted research on accounting at the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. He is a Certified Public Accountant. Keidanren is committed to the realization of Society 5.0 for SDGs. 

Lori Nezhura Lori Nezhura, (Cal OES Deputy Director of Planning, Preparedness, and Prevention), has worked for the State of California since 2006. She is currently the Deputy Director of Planning, Preparedness, and Prevention, a role which includes oversite of the agency’s seismic hazards branch, dam safety, radiological preparedness, and statewide all-hazards emergency and continuity planning efforts. Additionally, she oversees the California Specialized Training Institute, a statewide enterprise with responsibility for supporting training, exercises, and education in wide variety of areas including, but not limited to, emergency management, public safety, homeland security, hazardous materials, disaster recovery, and crisis communications. Prior to her current role, Lori spent almost six years as the Legislative Coordinator at the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and nine years at the California Student Aid Commission as Legislative Director, Program Manager, and various Analyst roles. Lori received her baccalaureate degree from Arizona Christian University in Phoenix and her post-baccalaureate teacher certification at Arizona State University in Tempe. After receiving her teaching credential, she moved to Saitama Prefecture in Japan for two years to teach English as a Second Language. Upon her return to the United States, she taught elementary classes at Carden Christian Academy for ten years before going into state service.

Akihiro Shibahara Dr. Akihiko Shibahara, (CEO, Research Institute for Earth Science Visualization Technology Co.,), is a geologist, paleontologist, and 3D-CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) engineer. He received a Doctorate degree of Science from Tsukuba University, and he worked as a curator at the Geological Museum in AIST.  His recent research has focused on the visualization of earth science, such as underground data or hazard maps using 3D modeling techniques.  In 2016, he established the Institute for Earth Science Visualization Technology as an AIST Start-ups to implement his research activity. He is also working at the Institute of Dinosaur Research Investigation in Fukui Prefectural University as a Visiting Professor to visualize the spatial relationship between geology and paleontology. Earth Science Visualization Technology established several techniques of building up finely-detailed 3D miniatures to visualize geological information and hazard maps. 

Yusuke OishiDr. Yusuke Oishi​, (Fujitsu Laboratories LTD.), is a project director of Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Fujitsu Laboratories LTD. Since 2014 he has also been a specially appointed associate professor of International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS), Tohoku University. He joined Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. in 2007 and has been engaged in research on simulation, high performance computing, and artificial intelligence. From 2010 to 2014, he was a visiting researcher at Imperial College London, where he was engaged in tsunami research using 3D fluid simulation. In collaboration with Tohoku University, the University of Tokyo, and Kawasaki City, he and his collaborators started a joint project in 2017 for disaster mitigation utilizing cutting-edge ICT such as artificial intelligence and supercomputing. The project aims to realize effective disaster mitigation by repeatedly implementing technology development, technology evaluation by citizens, and technology improvement.


Kiyoteru TsutsuiKiyoteru Tsutsui, (Stanford University), is Henri H. and Tomoye Takahashi Professor and Senior Fellow in Japanese Studies at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University, where he is also Director of the Japan Program, a Senior Fellow of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and a Professor of Sociology. He is the author of Rights Make Might: Global Human Rights and Minority Social Movements in Japan (Oxford University Press, 2018), co-editor of Corporate Responsibility in a Globalizing World (Oxford University Press, 2016) and co-editor of The Courteous Power: Japan and Southeast Asia in the Indo-Pacific Era (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming 2021). 


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