Edited by Kamila Borsekova and Peter Nijkamp
Chapter 4: Population change and economic impacts on the affected region: the case of massive earthquakes in Japan
Two massive earthquakes have occurred in Japan since 1995: the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and the Great East Japan Earthquake. The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake that occurred in 1995 mainly damaged Kobe City; following the earthquake, its population declined from 1.52 million to 1.42 million. The Great East Japan Earthquake that occurred in 2011 significantly damaged the Tohoku region in Japan. The coastal area of Fukushima Prefecture is still suffering from the impacts of the nuclear power plant accident that occurred as a result of the earthquake. There is the possibility of a long-term population decline due to the evacuation that followed, particularly in the coastal area of Fukushima Prefecture. In this chapter, the author analyses the recovery process of the population in the affected regions due to these two massive earthquakes. Furthermore, as a case study, the economic impacts of population decline due to the Great East Japan Earthquake are estimated for the affected region. From the results of the analysis, the author shows the difference in the population recovery process between the two earthquakes, and the negative impacts on the region affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
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