The Great Tohoku Earthquake & Tsunami and Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: 5 Years Later

Thursday, March 10, 2016
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Philippines Conference Room
Encina Hall, Third Floor, Central, C330
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305
  • Daniel Aldrich, Professor of Political Science, Public Policy and Urban Affairs and Co-Director of the Masters Program in Security and Resilience- Northeastern University,
  • Kenji Kushida, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center Japan Program Research Associate- Stanford University,
  • Kyoko Sato, The Program in Science, Technology, and Society Associate Director- Stanford University

It has been five years since the 2011 Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami and associated nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Three experts will re-examine the impact of these events on Japan and the world. What was the ultimate legacy of the disaster? What was the impact on political discourse, nuclear policy, disaster response, society, and culture? What lessons have we learned?




Daniel Aldrich is Professor of Political Science, Public Policy and Urban Affairs and is the Co-Director of the Masters Program in Security and Resilience at Northeastern University. He has published four books, single-authoring Site Fights (Cornell University Press, 2008) and Building Resilience (University of Chicago Press, 2012) which won the Japan NPO Research Association Award for Outstanding Book; both were translated into Japanese and the latter into Chinese as well.  He co-authored and co-edited the books Resilience and Recovery in Asian Disasters (Springer Publishers, 2014) and Healthy, Resilient and Sustainable Communities after Disasters (Institute of Medicine / National Academy of Sciences, 2015).  He has also published more than thirty peer reviewed articles in journals such as Social Science and Medicine, Public Administration Review, British Journal of Political Science, Natural Hazards and the Journal of Asian Studies along with 20 book chapters and OpEds in the New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post, and the Asahi Shinbun. Aldrich is Chair of the American Political Science Association’s Working Group on Disasters and Crises and sits on the editorial board of several journals.  He has won, among other awards, two Fulbright fellowships, an Abe Fellowship, an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology fellowship, the Kinley Trust Fellowship, and the Pi Sigma Alpha Best Professor Award (2011).

Takahashi Research Associate in Japanese Studies,
Shorenstein APARC
Kenji E. Kushida is the Japan Program Research Associate at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and an affiliated researcher at the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy. Kushida’s research interests are in the fields of comparative politics, political economy, and information technology. He has four streams of academic research and publication: political economy issues surrounding information technology such as Cloud Computing; institutional and governance structures of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster; political strategies of foreign multinational corporations in Japan; and Japan’s political economic transformation since the 1990s. Kushida has written two general audience books in Japanese, entitled Biculturalism and the Japanese: Beyond English Linguistic Capabilities (Chuko Shinsho, 2006) and International Schools, an Introduction (Fusosha, 2008). Kushida holds a PhD in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. His received his MA in East Asian studies and BAs in economics and East Asian studies, all from Stanford University.


Kyoko Sato is the STS Associate Director and lecturer. Her research explores how cultural meanings, politics, and institutional frameworks intersect in the development of technology. She is currently completing a book manuscript, The Making of Genetically Modified Food: Culture, Politics and Policy in France, Japan and the United States, and conducting a comparative study that examines cultural politics of nuclear energy after World War II and the effect of the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan and the United States. Her fields of teaching include the politics and culture of food, environmental politics, globalization, social theory, and methods of social sciences. Dr. Sato received her PhD in sociology from Princeton University, MA in journalism from New York University, and BA in English from the University of Tokyo. She was a postdoctoral associate at the Institute for the Social Sciences at Cornell University and taught as a lecturer in the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies and in the Department of Sociology at Harvard University. Before entering the academia, Dr. Sato worked as a reporter for The Japan Times, an English-language daily in Tokyo.