The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter
Newsletter No. 21. 2012   

May 21, 2012   
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In This Issue

Leo Bosner draws on his decades long experience at FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to assess Japan's response to the 3.11 triple disasters. He highlights the fact that Japan had no comprehensive emergency plan to confront disasters, as a result it relied heavily on the SDF as first responders. To this day, Japan has no national plan. What are the implications for the world's most earthquake prone nation?

Check out our most read articles . . . for the last month, last year and last decade. Find it by clicking on Top Ten Articles at the top of our home page.

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Gerhard Krebs, World War Zero? Re-assessing the Global Impact of the Russo-Japanese War 1904-05    


On the occasion of its centennial, the Russo-Japanese War drew great attention among historians who organized symposiums and published numerous studies. What have been the recent perspectives, debates and insights on the historical impact of the Russo-Japanese War on the imperial world order, evolution of international society, and global intellectual history? Gerhard Krebs' comprehensive historiographical essay introduces the major works published in the last ten years on the world-historical impact of the Russo-Japanese War, including works in Japanese, Russian, English and German.


Gerhard Krebs taught at universities in Tokyo, Freiburg, Trier and Berlin and worked in research institutes in Tokyo and Potsdam. His books include Japan's Deutschlandpolitik 1935-1941. 2 Vols., Hamburg 1984; Das moderne Japan 1868-1952, München 2009; Japan im Pazifischen Krieg, München 2010.

Recommended citation: Gerhard Krebs, "World War Zero? Re-assessing the Global Impact of the Russo-Japanese War 1904-05," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 10, Issue 21, No 2, May 21, 2012.

Read More. . .

Leo Bosner, Can Japan Respond Better to its Next Large Disaster?


From January 9 until February 23, 2012, I was in Japan on an invitational fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).

Having worked for the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for nearly thirty years, the subject of my fellowship was Japan's response to a large-scale disaster, and whether it could be improved. Under it, I interviewed individuals who were involved in or were familiar with the response to the March 11, 2011 earthquake/tsunami disaster in eastern Japan and lectured on local-level disaster response planning. 


My most important finding was this: the Government of Japan simply does not have a comprehensive, realistic plan for responding to large disasters.



Leo Bosner served with the US Government's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Washington, DC from 1979 until his retirement in 2008.  In 2000-2001, he lived and worked in Tokyo under the Mike Mansfield Fellowship Program studying Japanese emergency management systems.  He has been a frequent lecturer and writer in Japan, and in 2011 he was awarded an Invitational Fellowship for Research in Japan by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).  


Recommended citation: Leo Bosner, "Can Japan Respond Better to its Next Large Disaster?" The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 10, Issue 21, No 1, May 21, 2012.



Read More. . .