2020: Japan’s Integration of All-Hazard Resilience and Covid-19...

Quelle: The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 18 | Issue 11 | Number 2 | Article ID 5402 | May 25, 2020
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Japan’s Integration of All-Hazard Resilience and Covid-19 Countermeasures
Andrew DeWit

In Japan, Covid-19 has led to an accelerating diffusion of all-hazard, disaster-resilient, policy integration. This paper shows that Japanese experts not only built a resource-efficient Covid-19 response, but are also using the crisis to ramp up Japanese-style collaboration on resource-efficient and sustainable communities, both in Japan and overseas. In a year when action on the climate challenge everywhere risks being derailed, Japan’s initiatives are an important indicator of how it remains possible to stay on track. Japan’s measures further integrate the UN 2030 Agenda's three pillars of the Paris Agreement, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Sendai Framework of Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR). In short, Japan is using the pandemic as yet another opportunity to accelerate transformative industrial policy.

Japan has waged a surprisingly aggressive and apparently successful campaign against Covid-19. In the May 7 Financial Times former head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, included Japan among the few countries that “acted in line with the risks.” A number of previous vocal critics of Japan’s response have conceded its success in preventing an outbreak “on the scale seen in many Western countries” (Normille, 2020). One key to Japan’s achievements on Covid-19 is an “expert-led approach” (Du, 2020): experts implemented countermeasures that maximized the effective use of constrained resources in the midst of a complex institutional environment and still-confusing scientific data on what is best practice. Those lessons apply to Japan’s smart-city decarbonization and other goals as well.

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