- Series: Routledge Humanitarian Studies
- Hardcover: 228 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (June 25, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1138013137
- ISBN-13: 978-1138013131
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,544,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Human Security and Japan’s Triple Disaster: Responding to the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear crisis (Routledge Humanitarian Studies) 1st Edition
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'Many practitioners, scholars and students, both within and beyond Japan, mistakenly imagine human security to be something that applies to ‘others’ in economically underdeveloped countries. Bacon and Hobson are therefore to be congratulated for refining and extending the human security approach, and demonstrating persuasively how it can be applied to the affairs of economically developed democracies in general, and more specifically to the 2011 ‘triple disaster’, with which we are all still trying to come to terms here in Japan.' – Takashi Inoguchi, University of Tokyo, Japan
'The concept of human security has rarely been used or practiced within Japan, as if there were no vulnerable people in the country. Bacon and Hobson remind us that human security is relevant for all countries, and show how it can fruitfully be applied to the variety of challenges that Japan continues to face in the wake of the 2011 ‘triple disaster’'.– Yasushi Katsuma, Waseda University, Japan
'This well-researched and cogently argued volume exposes the facade of the Japanese state's commitment to Human Security in the light of the triple disasters of 3.11. It will be essential reading for anyone seeking to understand human insecurity in post-tsunami Japan.' –Giorgio Shani, the International Christian University, Japan
'This book provocatively shows how the concept of human security applies to one of the most important recent disasters―the earthquake tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan. It causes us―as students, academics or officials― to reflect humbly on how we can better protect human security, close to home, and further afield.' – Mihir Bhatt, Director, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute, India
About the Author
Paul Bacon is Associate Professor, School of International Liberal Studies, and Deputy Director of the European Union Institute, Waseda University, Japan.
Chris Hobson is Assistant Professor, School of Political Science and Economics Waseda University, Japan, and Visiting Research Fellow, United Nations University, Japan.
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The first task of the book is to explain and show the relevance to Japan’s disaster of “human security”, an approach that seeks to widen the concern beyond national security and consider the security needs of ordinary people. While that may be an admirable intention, there is a potential danger that the term becomes diluted of meaning, and I confess that I started the book with more than a little scepticism of the concept’s value. But my scepticism was soon dispelled by the very strong opening two chapters, written by the editors. The second chapter by Bacon gives a clear and even-handed overview of the thinking around human security, explaining its two main schools–the “Japanese”, which has an economic, social and cultural agenda; and the “Canadian”, which looks more at the responsibility to protect–while warning against dichomitisation. The Japanese government, seeing too much its own approach as being about economic development for poorer countries, never thought to apply the concept or the considerable expertise of its own Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the aftermath of March 2011, and its own people suffered as a result. It is a sad irony indeed.
The book’s strong opening continues with Jeff Kingston’s superb treatment of the political and bureaucratic response to the triple disaster, which shows the appalling risk-management failures of TEPCO and the “nuclear village” that runs Japan’s nuclear power industry. It can only be hoped that lessons have genuinely been learned, although Kingston gives little ground for optimism.
Do all the following chapters meet the extremely high standards set at the start? Perhaps not, but almost all bring some interesting perspective or evidence to the discussion of the triple disaster. This book draws on the events of March 2011 to argue persuasively that a more people-centred approach to security is needed. Highly recommended reading, not least for policymakers around the world.