23 SES 13 D, Community Education and the Politics of Resilience: Germany, Japan and New Zealand
Disaster education has been taught in both formal and informal settings in Japan. As a disaster-prone country which has recently entered into a quake-active period, disaster resilience has become a priority agenda, politically, economically and socially. In 2003, the Cabinet Office set a goal to reduce damages by 50 percent in case of predicted earthquakes. This paper aims to discuss the transition of society with the development of community resilience in Japan. The paper particularly focuses on the notion of ‘kyojo’, which is part of what can be called ‘the four forms of aids’ – kojo, jijo, gojo and kyojo. This aid framework has widely applied in policy as well as academic discourses on disaster education particularly after the Japan Great Eastern Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011. ‘Kojo’ is public aid provided by governments, ‘jijo’ is self-help and both ‘gojo’ and ‘kyojo’, which are often understood as synonyms, refer to mutual help. However, the important difference is that the former help occurs between friends and families, whereas the latter is philanthropic aid towards someone whom you do not necessarily know, which can be in a form of volunteering and charitable activities. The argument of this paper is that kyojo which is perceived to be the solution for disaster education is in fact a powerful tool for neo-liberal politics. Alternative approaches, such as ‘everyday preparedness [seikatsu bosai]’ (Yamori, 2012), to disaster education that develops resilience in communities would better be considered. This study is developed based on the finding from the research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. A narrative is constructed on the basis of interrogating existing literature and the empirical data collected through expert interviews and attending seminars and symposia.
Yamori, Katsuya (2012) ‘The Great East Japan Earthquake and “Everyday Preparedness” [higashinihondaishinsai to “seikatsu bosai”], Building Maintenance and Management Center, Journal Re, no. 175: n. p.
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