“Human security in a developed country: The example of Japan’s triple disaster in 2011

Yukie OSA
President, Association for Aid and Relief(AAR),Japan
Professor, Rikkyo University

This paper discusses some aspects of human security in a developed country focusing on Japan’s triple disaster on 11 March 2011. The paper first discusses what the 3/11 triple disaster revealed in terms of human security, which had not been visible previously.  It then discusses the concept of human security as preventive measures to avoid marginalizing people and to prevent further nuclear crises, taking the example of nuclear power plant workers. The challenges facing society in Japan, which is an important part of human security, is also discussed focusing on emergency NGOs.

1.      Human security vs. national security or national interest
 “Was Japan such a horrible country”, asked Mr. Kenichi Hasegawa, a cattle farmer from Iitate Village in Fukushima prefecture[1] , where radiation levels have been extremely high, despite being located outside the 30 kilometre (19 miles) exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. It was not until 22 April 2011, that the Japanese government asked the approximately 6,000 residents of Iitate to leave the village due to radiation, even though the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) stated that its operational criteria for evacuation were exceeded in the village as early as 30 March[2].On 22 April, 40 days after the disaster, Iitate Village was declared a Mandatory Evacuation Area,  where the cumulative dose might reach 20mSv within  a one- year period after the accident. Residents were requested to evacuate in a planned manner, within approximately one month. Based the experience of Chernobyl, it is a well-known fact among researchers and experts that in radiological emergencies, radiation levels vary significantly depending on geography and wind direction. Therefore, in order to predict levels, the System for Prediction of Environment Emergency Dose Information (SPEEDI) was developed in Japan to provide guidance for safer evacuations.
However, Prime Minister Kan and his cabinet did not use this system; more precisely, they did not know of the existence of the system and data in the early stages. They first ordered residents to leave the area, assuming that radiation contamination spreads concentrically. As a result, some residents from the 20-kilometre “Danger Zone” evacuated to the northwest where actual radiation levels were much higher than where they used to live within 20 kilometres.
These people who were exposed to extraordinarily high radiation levels have been called “Kimin”[3], meaning the abandoned people.
Explanations and excuses came from the very top, including Prime Minister Kan’s Cabinet, and were made to local staff and policemen measuring radiation levels on site. Radiation data was withheld from the public for fear that its release would cause a panic; organizations were prohibited from releasing government data. After Chernobyl, there was harsh confrontation between the military that wanted to relocate residents living in a wider area and those who opposed the idea due to the cost required. The same standoff may have happened in Fukushima: perhaps the range of the radiation exclusion zone was decided so as to reduce the compensation cost, said Ryuichi Hirokawa, a photo-journalist who has reported Chernobyl over 24 years.[4] Thus, national or economic interests may trump people’s security, or “human security.
Theoretically, the UNDP proposed that human security was a universal concept covering people in developing, war-torn countries as well as people in developed, industrialized countries. However, in practice, human security has targeted developing countries on the assumption that human security in highly developed, democratic countries is secured. However, 3/11 clearly showed that the concept of human security is also relevant in developed countries, where national security or logic may take priority over human security. There is thus a need to protect human security in both developed and developing countries.

[1] Statement by Mr. Kenichi Hasegawa at the symposium of Shinsaigo wo Kataru tsudoi organized by Rikkyo University on 11 October 2011.
[2] IAEA Briefing on Fukushima Nuclear Accident (30 March 2011, 16.30 UTC)
[3] Asahi Shimbun, 20 October 2011, “The Prometheus Trap / The Researcher’s Resignation, No. 4”.
[4] Asahi Shimbun, 7 February 2012, “NEWS KENGAI” .

2.      Outline of the 3/11 disaster
At 14:46 on 11 March 2011, one of the world’s largest earthquakes, magnitude 9.0, with its epicentre off the Sanriku coast of Miyagi Prefecture, struck a vast region of East Japan. The earthquake was caused by the interlocking movements of three large plates, and affected an area 500 kilometres long and 200 kilometres wide along the coast, from Iwate in the north to Ibaraki in the south. The ensuing tsunami far exceeded predictions both in its height and destructive power. One year later, on 11 March 2012, the National Police Agency reported that the direct death toll was 15,854, in addition to 3,155 missing persons. According to the Reconstruction Agency, as of March 2012, a further 1,618 persons had died from cold, stress or ill health as a result of prolonged living in evacuation centres or injuries from which they never recovered. Thus, the total number of dead and missing persons from the 3/11 disaster exceeds 20,000.
Furthermore, countless people lost their homes and jobs, and some 470,000 people were living in temporary shelters three days after the disaster. According to the Reconstruction Agency, as of 23 February 2012 there were 343,935 evacuees throughout the country, including 52,000 in temporary homes. Approximately 130,000 buildings were totally destroyed and 230,000 partly destroyed. At least 650,000 buildings suffered damage, and the volume of debris reached 23 million tons.
It was not the massive earthquake that took the lives of so many, but the ensuing tsunami. Following the earthquake, the tsunami travelled toward the coast as fast as a Shinkansen bullet train at the water depth of 1,000 metres and as fast as a jet plane at the depth of 4,000 metres. When it struck land, the tsunami surged as high as 39.7 metres in the Tarou region of Miyako City in Iwate Prefecture and 40.0 metres in Ofunato City in Iwate Prefecture, exceeding even the 38.2 metres height recorded in Ofunato City during the Meiji Sanriku Earthquake of 1896.
According to NASA, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the movement of the huge Pacific Plate caused a change in the earth’s distribution of mass, speeding up the earth’s rotation and shortening the length of a day by 1.8 microseconds. 

Japan’s history of great earthquakes and tsunami
The triple disaster of March 11 is considered to be a once-in-a-thousand-year event since the Jogan Earthquake that struck the province of Mutsu (an old name for the region) in 869.
The Jogan Earthquake, estimated to have been magnitude 8.3 to 8.6, caused huge damage and continued to shake the Japanese archipelago and shift the land southward to the Kanto region and Western Japan. Nine years later in 878, the Sagami-Musashi Earthquake (M7.4) struck the Kanto region and 18 years later in 887, the Ninna Earthquake (M8.0–8.3) devastated the Tokai and Tonankai regions. These successive earthquakes led to the collapse of the autocratic Ritsuryo state modelled after the Tang Chinese legal system.
Japanese history shows that such disasters have frequently hit Japan. The Keicho Earthquake (M7.9–8.0) that struck the Tokai, Nankai and Tonankai regions in 1605 was followed only six years later by the Keicho Sanriku Earthquake in East Japan in 1611. Just four years later the Edo Earthquake shook present-day Tokyo. During the Meiji Era, the Meiji-Tokyo Earthquake (M7) hit the capital in 1894, the year that saw the start of the Sino-Japanese War. Two years later, the Meiji-Sanriku Earthquake (M8.2–8.5) struck the Tohoku region.
These interlocking movements continued well into the Taisho and Showa Eras. The Great Kanto Earthquake (M7.9) struck in 1923, and the Showa Sanriku Earthquake (M8.2–8.5) hit East Japan in 1933, ten years later. Then in the mid 1940s, when Japan was in a dire state as the Pacific War drew to a close, the country was hit by the Tottori Earthquake (M7.2) in 1943, Showa Tonankai Earthquake (M7.9) in 1944, Mikawa Earthquake (M6.8) in January 1945, the year that the war ended, and the Showa Nankai Earthquake (M8.0) in 1946. These four great earthquakes in four consecutive years took the lives of more than a thousand people each. Most of these earthquakes triggered great tsunami, as was the case of the 3/11 triple disaster in East Japan. A study is now under way to elucidate the layers and distribution of stone and sand sediments of the tsunami.
Most Japanese learn at middle school about the history of the country, how people lived, the policies adopted by the court, the Shogunate and the Meiji government. Such human-centered history focuses on social, political and cultural development of the country. But Japan’s history is also marked by large-scale natural disasters that led to major political changes and even the collapse of governments.
In contrast, the 3/11 disaster that struck East Japan was decidedly different from other natural disasters over the millennia due to the presence of nuclear power plants that did not exist during the great earthquakes and tsunami of the past.

Explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants owned by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) are located in Okuma Town (Units 1 to 4) and Futaba Town (Units 5 and 6) in Futaba County of Fukushima Prefecture. Although Fukushima Prefecture is located in the business region of Tohoku Electric Power Company, the electricity generated at these plants is supplied to Tokyo and the surrounding Kanto region.
When the magnitude 9 earthquake struck, the control rods were inserted at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants to terminate the nuclear fission reaction of fuel rods in Units 1 to 3 that were then operating, bringing the nuclear reactors to an automatic stop at 14:46. Almost one hour later, around 15:40, a tsunami rising to fifteen metres in height struck Units 1, 2, 3 and 4 which stand only 10 metres above sea level. (Units 5 and 6 are 13 metres above sea level.) Even after the suspension of operation, a nuclear reactor must continue to be cooled because the nuclear fuel rods remain very hot. However, the earthquake and tsunami destroyed power transmission towers and prevented emergency diesel generators from working, and without power, operation of the three nuclear power plants could not be controlled. (Units 5 and 6 were able to share power from an emergency diesel generator.) As a consequence, at 15:36 on 12 March, a hydrogen explosion occurred at the nuclear reactor containment building of Unit 1 followed by another hydrogen explosion at the containment building of Unit 3 at 11:01 on 14 March. At about 6:00 am on the 15th, there was another hydrogen explosion, near the suppression chamber of the containment vessel of Unit 2. At about the same time, there was an explosion, thought to have been a hydrogen explosion, resulting in a fire at Unit 4, which was out of operation for a routine inspection. The situation became the most critical in the history of nuclear power following the accident at Chernobyl. With continuous explosions and venting of air to reduce the pressure in containment vessels, enormous volumes of radioactive materials were released from 12 March, peaking on 15 March. According to a calculation by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, as much as 770,000 tera Becquerels of radioactive matter was released (tera means 1 trillion), causing serious effects in 13 prefectures[1]. In addition, large quantities of contaminated cooling water, both high and low concentration, were released into the sea.
As a result, 80,000 residents in Fukushima Prefecture, including 6,200 from Iitate Village, 1,600 from Katsurao Village, 21,400 from Namie Town, 7,100 from Futaba Town, 11,500 from Okuma Town, 15,800 from Tomioka Town, 8,000 from Naraha Town, 5,400 from Hirono Town and 3,000 from Kawauchi Village with their respective municipal offices had to be evacuated. They were forced to abandon their homes, schools, land, rice paddies, farmland, cattle, temples and ancestral graves, and could not continue to search for missing family members and friends. Furthermore, the three municipalities of Tamura City with a population of about 41,700, Minami Soma City with 70,000 and Kawamata Town with 15,500 were designated as partial-warning areas and planned evacuation areas, and some 380, 14,200 and 1,000 residents respectively from these three municipalities were evacuated. A total of 95,580 residents in 12 municipalities, including the nine mentioned above, were ordered by the government to evacuate; these people are called “designated evacuees”. In addition, 113 households in 104 areas of Ryozen Town and Tsukidate Town in Date City administrative district, located to the north of Iitate Village, were also forced to evacuate.
Including designated evacuees by government order and those who left voluntarily, the total number of persons who sought refuge outside Fukushima Prefecture reached 61,137 as of 30 November 2011, accounting for approximately 3% of Fukushima’s population of 2 million before the disaster.
Large numbers of residents were forced to leave their homes with their self-governing bodies and assemblies, continuing to drift from initial evacuation centres to second, third and even fourth evacuation centres without receiving information on radiation, and living under unprecedented circumstances compared even to other refugees around the world.
Mary Kaldor argues that the indicator that comes closest to a measure of human security is displaced persons. Displaced persons are a typical feature of contemporary crises, both natural disasters and wars.[2] As Kaldor points out, the challenge of internally displaced persons in Fukushima following the 3/11 disaster reflects the massive scale and complexity of the difficulties concerning human security.

[1] Asahi Shimbun, 11 September 2011, “Great East Japan Earthquake, 6 months special issue”
[2] Mary Kaldor, Human Security, Reflections on Globalization and Intervention, Polity Press, 2007, p. 183.

3.      Lessons of the Great East Japan Earthquake: the vulnerable become victims
Large-scale natural disasters tend to highlight or trigger potential structural challenges faced by social systems. The Great East Japan Earthquake shed light on structural issues that had remained invisible since modernization began in the Meiji Era.
As it is not possible to cover all the issues, I will discuss those I have experienced in supporting the victims.

Japan’s demographic structure and high mortality rates among the elderly
The 3/11 disaster was unprecedented in scale, and also in the age composition of the victims.
Japan’s population stood at 128.06 million as of 1 October 2010, with 29.58 million (23.1%) aged over 65, the highest ever and up from 29.01 million (22.7%) the previous year.
Japan has the highest ratio of elderly people in the world. According to WHO statistics published in 2011, Japan had the world’s highest proportion of people older than 60 in 2009, accounting for 30% of the population. This was four points higher compared to Germany, Italy and San Marino that came in second. The ratio of elderly victims in countries hit by major earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunami or cyclones in the last ten years is the highest in Japan; the USA ranks thirty-eighth with 18%, Sri Lanka sixtieth with 12%, Somalia 170th with 4%, Thailand sixty-fifth with 11%, China sixtieth with 12%, Turkey seventy-seventh with 9%, Haiti 118th with 6%, Pakistan 118th with 6%, Bangladesh 118th with 6%, the Philippines 101st with 7% and Myanmar ninety-first with 8%.
The 3/11 disaster hit the elderly the hardest in history.
Turning to Japan’s domestic statistical data, according to the Annual Report on the Aging Society published in 2011 with numbers drawn from the year 2009, those aged 65 years or older accounted for 22.7% of the population. Compared with this national average, Shimane Prefecture had the highest ratio with 29%, Okinawa was forty-seventh with 17.5%, and the three East Japan Prefectures where the disaster struck were as follows: Iwate Prefecture sixth with 26.8%, Fukushima Prefecture twenty-third with 24.7% and Miyagi Prefecture thirty-sixth with 22.1%.
As of the end of February 2012, of the 15,786 persons confirmed dead due to the disaster, 10,064 were over 60 years of age (63.75%). By prefecture, in Iwate there were 4,671 dead of which 3,064 (65.6%) were elderly (60 years or older), in Miyagi there were 9,510 dead of which 5,921 (62.26%) were elderly, and in Fukushima there were 1,605 dead of which 1,079 (67.23%) were elderly. The proportion of people aged 65 years or older in Iwate was 26.8%, Miyagi 22.1% and Fukushima 24.7% as noted earlier, showing that in all three prefectures the proportion of elderly victims was more than double the proportion of the elderly in the total population. In the coastal areas of the Sanriku region there are mainly fishing villages and small hamlets where depopulation and ageing are progressing. Many of the elderly were engulfed by the tsunami as they tried to escape or failed to get away as they had no one to help them.
In comparison, among young people aged 0 to 19 in the three prefectures in total, 885 (5.61%) died. Miyagi had the most with 619 (6.51%), followed by Iwate with 166 (3.55%) and Fukushima with 100 (6.23%). As of 1 March 2011, 0–19 year-olds accounted for 17.89% of the total population, thus revealing that in terms of demographic structure, relatively few children and teenagers were victims. This may have partly been because the earthquake struck on a weekday (Friday) and at 14:46 while students were still in school and teachers could help lead them to the safety of rooftops or higher ground. The fact that the death toll in Iwate was low is considered to be due to its experience of tsunami in the Sanriku region both in the Meiji and Showa Eras and the teaching of disaster prevention in schools. In addition, the saw-tooth coastline of the area enabled students to quickly retreat to higher ground behind schools.

High mortality rates among the persons with disabilities
Like the elderly, those with disabilities suffered high mortality rates. It became evident from Mainichi Shimbun[1] and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)[2] reports that in the coastal municipalities of the three prefectures where damage was greatest, the death rate among those with physical, intellectual or mental disabilities was more than twice that among residents as a whole.
The Mainichi Shimbun conducted a survey in October 2011 in the 35 municipalities with the greatest number of victims along the coast of the three affected prefectures. Thirty-three municipalities responded (Miyagi 14, Iwate 9 and Fukushima 10), while Sendai City and Rikuzentakata City did not know the number of persons with disabilities among the dead.
At the time of the survey, the total number of the dead in the 33 municipalities was 13,619, accounting for 0.9% of the total population, but among those certified as having physical, intellectual or mental disabilities (76,568 persons), the number of victims was 1,568, or about 2%.
The death rate among persons with disabilities was particularly high in the coastal areas of Miyagi. In Ishinomaki City, 599 certified disabled persons died, accounting for 7.47% of disabled persons, compared to a death rate of 1.96% of the total population.  In Onagawa Town where 7.01% of its residents died, the death rate for persons with disabilities was almost double at 13.88%. In particular, the death rate among those with hearing disabilities who could not hear the warnings to evacuate was 22.5%, compared with 18.45% among those who could not move due to physical disabilities. Similar tendencies were found in Minami Sanriku Town where 3.82% of the residents died, whereas the death rate was 8.24% among persons with disabilities, 14.29% among the visually disabled, 9.46% among the hearing disabled, and 11.17% among the physically disabled (from NHK Welfare Network news documentaries).
In evacuation centres, persons with disabilities endured terrible situations, as was frequently reported in the media. The fact that so many persons with disabilities died reflects the appalling circumstances in which they were placed. Natural disasters strike all equally, but the Great East Japan Earthquake showed that the socially vulnerable, the elderly and persons with disabilities suffer the most; this is the same in developed countries such as Japan and in developing countries.

[1] The Mainichi Shimbun, 24 December 2011, “Great East Japan Earthquake, the death rate among persons with disabilities twice”
[2] Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities (JSRPD), “Welfare of the Persons with Disabilities Normalization’”, Nov.2011(vol.31, No.364)

Women’s burden
The Great East Japan Earthquake highlighted the issue of gender and disasters.
There are many, including the elderly, children and persons with disabilities and chronic diseases who need constant attention and treatment and who thus need special care after a major disaster. However, in Japan, it has been debatable whether women, who account for over half the population, are categorized as vulnerable and require special support.  This is generally considered to be an issue only in developing countries and the Islamic world, but not in Japan which at least legally recognizes women’s rights.
After the disaster victims survived the life-threatening period during which they suffered from cold, lack of food and fuel immediately following the earthquake, and as relief goods began to reach them and as support programmes started to be set up in evacuation centres, gender related issues began to surface. Men led most of the evacuation centres and voluntarily managed daily life. There were things that needed to be improved for women, but they were discouraged from speaking up. There were even reports of outsiders speaking up on behalf of distraught women, but being told not to disturb the situation. Even when sanitary napkins and other items such as women’s underwear were delivered to municipal governments, since most of the civil servants were men who had little knowledge or consideration, the situation hardly improved. Young male staff, for example, publicly handed out in the centres one napkin at a time, not knowing that half a dozen or so are needed each day during the menstrual period, telling recipients that they could ask for more if needed.
The evacuation centres, mostly set up in school gymnasiums, had no partitions and male evacuees slept right beside young women. The newspapers reported the need for privacy. The work of providing meals at the centres by volunteers and cleaning up the centres was mostly left to the women who were victims themselves. They took care of family members, plans for rebuilding homes, in addition to cooking for dozens of people, and for months on end.
It is easy to pretend that the victims had a strong sense of unity (kizuna), but once they were able to settle in temporary housing, some women who had lived apart from their husbands to escape from domestic violence were forced by the authorities to live together, and thus suffered further by having to live with husbands who became even more violent from stress due to the disaster.
Keiko Ikeda, a sociologist at Shizuoka University and an authority on gender and disaster studies in Bangladesh, has highlighted four issues in disaster areas around the world, be they developing or developed countries.[1] Firstly, there is a global trend toward gender differences in human victims, with women suffering more than men. Secondly, after a disaster, the gender based division of labour is strengthened,  increasing women’s workload and disadvantaging their access to reconstruction resources. Thirdly, after a disaster, human rights are less well protected, with increased violence against women, for example. Fourthly, women serve to reduce the risks after a disaster in many ways and are resilient.
Of the 6,402 victims following the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995, 2,713 were men but 3,680 were women, including nine missing. In the recent Great East Japan Earthquake, of 15,786 victims in the three northern prefectures, 7,360 were men and 8,362 were women among the 15,727 bodies whose sex could be identified.[2] Gender issues in developed countries should be revisited from the perspective of human security.

[1] Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo, “Gender Equality and Multi-cultural Convivality in the age of Globalization- Disaster, Restoration and Gender equality”  6.11 Symposium, pp.10-17
[2] National Police Agency report as of 29 February 2012

West high, East low – Tohoku region is the hinterland of Japan’s modernization
The Yomiuri Shimbun carried a shocking report on 28 September 2011, half a year after the disaster, that 12% of physicians and 5% of nurses in Fukushima had resigned after the nuclear power plant accident, forcing some departments and night time emergency wards to close. Fukushima had always been short of physicians compared to other regions. High pressure in the West and low pressure in the East is a familiar Japanese weather pattern, but the same is true of the number of physicians. There are serious regional discrepancies in the number of doctors, according to Dr.Masahiro Kami from the Institute of Medical Science, the University of Tokyo, who serves as an advisor as I do, to Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture Reconstruction Conference.
After the Great Earthquake, both Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures suffered like Fukushima from a serious shortage of doctors in the devastated areas. The Red Cross Hospital in Ishinomaki, which valiantly served as a medical base, was often singled out as providing committed and remarkable services. The shortage of physicians was not only made worse by the disaster, but was a serious issue because there had been few doctors in the areas where the disaster struck.
Following the standards of the Japan Meteorological Agency, East Japan includes Kanto and Koshin (Tokyo, Saitama, Nagano), Hokuriku (Niigata and Toyama) and Tokai (Fukui, Gifu and Mie) and West Japan includes all areas to the west of Kyoto, Shiga, Nara and Wakayama, in other words, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku and northern and southern Kyushu.
Comparing the number of physicians per 100,000 people, the national average is 217.5, but the number is 197.5 in East Japan and 248.5 in West Japan. Although simple comparisons cannot be applied to social infrastructure such as the number of tunnels and railroads, there are clear differences. The number of higher educational institutions such as universities is also limited. The modernization of Japan, which began in the Meiji Era, was heavily biased in favour of the west, where the most of political leaders of Meiji Era came from and the Tohoku region was clearly left out of that process and is now suffering in support and reconstruction activities as a result. Not only in developing countries do the regions inhabited by powerful military and political groups enjoy priority in development.

Forcing sacrifices on a limited number of people
The 3/11 disaster clearly revealed the problems of the social structure and their relations to the myriad problems encountered by Japan since modernization began in the Meiji Era. While the country as a whole enjoyed great prosperity, it has chronically forced sacrifices on minorities and limited numbers of people for the sake of the majority. Examples include the US military bases in Okinawa, mineral poisoning by Ashio Copper Mines in the late Meiji Era foreshadowing industrial pollution, Minamata disease (mercury poisoning) and the present issues of nuclear power plants. There are 54 nuclear reactors in Japan, putting the country third after 104 units of the USA and 59 units of France. Russia comes fourth with 31 units and Korea fifth with 20.
The nuclear power plants in Japan are located in 21 municipalities in 13 prefectures.[1] They were constructed when the state’s predictions for power demand during the era of high economic growth met the wishes of municipalities not to miss out on opportunities that economic development might bring. It is generally considered that the municipalities that agreed to host a nuclear power plant enjoyed economic benefits via subsidies granted under the three acts promoting the power resources development tax[2], but the reality is not that simple. The hosting of nuclear power plants is inextricably linked with regional discrepancies.
Shuji Shimizu, Vice President of Fukushima University, who has studied the relationship between the three acts on promoting the power resources development tax and municipalities with nuclear power plants, points out that while the municipalities accepted plants in the hope that industries and urbanization would follow, the economic benefits were limited to the construction industry and even then, only temporarily.[3] Since electric power can be transmitted over long distances, there are no real advantages for businesses to build factories near nuclear power plants, while most work related to nuclear power plants is too specialized for local SMEs to handle. On the other hand, since nuclear power plant workers receive higher wages than local businesses can offer, much of the work force is absorbed by the nuclear power plant, making the local industrial structure entirely dependent on the nuclear power plant and therefore unbalanced. Subsidies were originally used only for the construction of buildings and infrastructure. Municipalities enriched by government subsidies and revenues from the fixed property tax continue to invest in building roads and public facilities while the subsidies and fixed property tax gradually diminish. On the other hand, the cost of maintaining public facilities increases, and so municipalities can only maintain a fiscal balance with capital investment from the construction of other nuclear power plants. Shimizu considers that subsidies are merely payment for the inconvenience of building plants in depopulated areas which cannot be built in cities. The Guidelines for Reactor Site Evaluation established by the state’s Atomic Energy Commission obligates nuclear reactors to be built in sparsely populated areas in case of accidents. This directly contradicts municipalities’ wish for urbanization and population increase following the construction of a plant. Once again, the existence of nuclear power plants is premised on regional discrepancies.
Another premise is that nuclear power plant operation involves exposure to radiation: work was subcontracted out knowing that workers would be exposed to radiation, workers who could be called “nuclear power plant hibakusha” or victims of nuclear radiation. Even nine months after the 3/11 disaster, there are still 3,000 people working at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant trying to bring the situation under control. They are battling against the odds under incomparably high doses of radiation, but exposure to high radiation is not only a post-accident phenomenon; rather, workers at all nuclear power plants are constantly exposed to high radiation levels even during routine inspection or cleaning.
Even before the disaster, some people warned of the situation through the media and their own writings, but both the media and researchers of human security, including myself, as well as activists against the violation of human rights, were either disinterested or ignorant of the problem. As a result, most consumers have taken electricity for granted and never really considered how it is generated with enormous sacrifice.
The harsh working conditions of dispatched temporary personnel were already serious before 3/11. Workers at nuclear power plants endured similar conditions to day workers and dispatched temporary workers subcontracted to undertake dangerous work for low wages.

[1] Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, Inc. http://www.jaif.or.jp/ja/nuclear_world/data/f0301.html
[2] Subsidies that are issued to prefectural and municipal governments where nuclear power plants are located as well as to neighbouring municipalities under the three acts promoting the power resources development tax which is collected from electric power companies. These three acts were established on 3 June 1974: the Electric Power Development Taxation Act which outlines the system, the Act on Areas Adjacent to Electric Power Generating Facilities which establishes the subsidies, and the Special Budget Act for the Development of Electric Power, a special account system established for the disbursement of subsidies.
[3] Shuji Shimizu, Sabetsu tositeno Genshi Ryoku, Liberta shuppan, 2011, Genpatsu ninao Chiiki no Mirai wo Takuseruka, Jichitai Kenkyuusya, 2011

4.      Role of NGOs in complementing the public domain and challenges for Japanese civil society
One of the distinctive features of human security, unlike the conventional concept of national security, is that those involved in wide-ranging issues are not limited to the state; the public played a major role in providing assistance after the Great East Japan Earthquake, once again highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of a developed country.
In the 3/11 disaster, Japanese NGOs played important roles.  Japan has long been one of the world’s top donors for international assistance, but since the US Occupation of Japan ended, has rarely experienced receiving aid itself. Therefore, the government was not accustomed to being a recipient and was not in a position to utilize the UN system for disaster relief, which Japan has been supporting for a long time. Also, the expertise and knowledge in overseas disaster relief built up over the years by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) as well as  the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is in charge of official development assistance (ODA), were hardly used at all following 3/11, since the Cabinet Office was in charge of the relief activities. The  MOFA was limited to acting as a liaison for the influx of international foreign aid. As a result, a huge gap arose between the international standard and Japanese disaster relief, and it was the NGOs that filled the gap by trying to apply such international guidelines and approaches as the Sphere standard, a right-based approach, gender and disaster, and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  Japan Platform (JPF) also worked closely with UN agencies such as UNHCR and WFP. Thus, Japanese NGOs played broader roles than as simple service providers.
However, due to several challenges facing the Japanese NGO community, this latent strength has not been fully utilized yet. First, JPF staff as well as other Japanese NGOs working for the 3/11 disaster are primarily internationally focused organizations; their mission, structures, and staffing are not geared for responding to domestic emergencies. Furthermore, just like the functions of UN agencies in Japan, many of the Japanese affiliates of international NGOs were established for fund-raising purposes. Therefore, those world-leading international NGOs did not play the same role as they have done after other natural disasters elsewhere.
Secondly, since NGOs are not well accepted or recognized as major relief providers by the Cabinet Office, municipal and local governments as well as beneficiaries, they have often been treated as “volunteers” rather than as professional relief organizations. Thus, precious time was lost in such NGOs introducing themselves and arranging the initial coordination.
The third challenge is the nuclear issue. There are far fewer NGOs working in Fukushima than in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures. In the initial stage of the emergency,  the few NGOs[1] working in Fukushima prefecture concentrated on delivering emergency kits including food and non-food items, but struggled to set up subsequent programs for the second stage. This was completely new and unknown operation for Japanese NGOs; the experience and lessons learned in Fukushima should be shared with the broader international aid community.

[1] According to the Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC), there are 17 NGOs working in Fukushima Prefecture, 40 in Miyagi and 33 in Iwate. The contrast is even clearer in the number of projects organized by NGOs between March and June 2011: 292 projects in Miyagi, 179 in Iwate and 60 in Fukushima. The organizations working in Fukushima include: Association for Aid and Relief, Japan, ADRA Japan, ICA, Peace Builders and SHAPLA NEER.

5.      Introducing the concept of human security for developed countries
The 3/11 disaster showed that the concept of human security is effective not only for developing countries but also for developed countries. From the beginning, human security has been considered a common concept appropriate for all states. However, it was assumed that human security is sufficiently ensured in developed democratic states, and so work focused on developing countries and their people. In the disaster-affected areas of East Japan, not only after the disaster but also during the reconstruction, vulnerable persons including the elderly and persons with disabilities did not receive sufficient assistance, and considerations for women and gender were insufficient. The disaster provides an opportunity to consider the potential of the human security concept.

5.1      Concept of human security as a preventive measures - The situation of nuclear power plant workers
The inclusion of “prevention” in the “Responsibility to Protect (R2P) ” framework was widely applauded[1]. However, prevention will not be a patent for R2P. Rather, the author argues that prevention is key to human security concept, too.
It has been argued that the labour unions were one of the many causes of the Fukushima nuclear accident.[2] It is said that the cosy relationship between labour and management led to inadequate checking.
Before 3/11, protecting dispatched or temporary contract workers was a serious social issue in Japan. Not only small companies, but also leading global companies have been blamed for using temporary dispatched workers to increase the freedom to hire and dismiss workers depending upon firms’ economic conditions.
However, it is now clear that this issue is related to the risk management of nuclear power plants. If all the workers at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant had been full-time employees of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), whose fair treatment and welfare were the responsibility of the labour union of TEPCO, and the relationship between labour and management had been proper, the risk management and security control of the plant would  have been different in terms of labour safety. However, in reality, the labour union of TEPCO avoided dangerous work and asked management to subcontract it out.[3] The dreadful working conditions at Fukushima Daiichi have been repeatedly reported in  both major newspapers and weekly magazines, and  it is now clear that even in normal times such as periodic, routine inspections of the plant, workers were exposed to dangerous radiation, and much of the work was conducted by subcontracted workers.[4] Nuclear reactors cannot be run without  subjecting the workforce to a certain level of radiation and health risk. Protecting the human security of such workers might result in safer standards and better prevention.

5.2      Reviewing human security
The 3/11 disaster is an opportunity to review human security. Needless to say, the concept of human security has met various criticisms: that it was introduced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1994 under different circumstances, how it might relate to the national circumstances and interests of Canada and Japan, that its scope is too broad, and that it lacks practicality as an analytical concept. The list goes on: it suffers from conceptual ambiguity and immaturity, lacks clarity, hides new colonial and imperialistic ideologies, lacks discussion on subject and object, places the general public as objects of unilateral protection while defining national security and human security as mutually complementary, and lacks a study of cases of confrontation and conflict between the two. [5]
Conscious of these criticisms and the present situation, I have attempted to show here that application of the human security concept in times of both war and peace, regardless of whether in a developed or developing country, contributes to protecting the security of the people.
Human security should be understood as a practical guideline, not as an analytical concept or framework. The reason is clear: the concept finds strength in the context of providing support and relief in the situation today. The Commission on Human Security discusses the need to strike a balance among humanitarian, political, military, human rights and development strategies, and the human security paradigm provides such a framework, emphasizing the protection and empowerment of people, a concern shared by all the different strategies. [6] Human security today should integrate and comprehensively enable the protection of people as originally intended. As mandates and issues are divided due to the pursuit of professionalism, aid agencies tend to fail to see a person as a whole when providing international cooperation. The essence of human security is most graphically expressed in the multi-sector multi-agency approach requested by the United Nations’ Trust Fund for Human Security.
Furthermore, I would like to propose human security as a concept that not only visualizes social conflicts and the victims, but also supersedes those conflicts as experienced in Japan during the 3/11 disaster. 
The disaster brought home the reality that many Japanese are robbed of human security and have become too disinterested in maintaining their own security while enjoying the fruits of their sacrifice. Without ensuring human security, peace will not be achieved in times of peace.
I would also suggest that it is the concept of human security that prompts dialogue rather than a zero-sum battle when human security and national security conflict with each other, or when policies and actions are taken to protect one group while endangering the lives of another.
Peace studies show that the essence of human security is represented in our efforts to recognize and expose such contradictions, and to introduce ways to overcome them including by developing concepts that encourage reviewing others differently, and by attempting not to create outcasts in society by putting the spotlight on structural violence during times of peace.
We must review and apply human security when reviewing the structural violence hidden in peacetime.

Conclusion: Human security transcends time and national borders
Finally, what is meant by the word “human”, the subject of human security?
The word “human in human security means all people on earth. From the perspective of giving aid, it means paying special attention to socially vulnerable persons, such as the elderly, those with disabilities and women to whom aid is slow to reach. Human security in developed countries is a concept that demands policymakers to consider minorities who are marginalized and suffer from issues such as the existence of nuclear power plants and military bases. It also means that human security is a concept that encourages citizens, who are voters as well as consumers, to recognize such issues.
Furthermore, the targets of human security are not limited to those of us living in the present, but include the protection of security beyond time and space to persons of the future and the past. As we confront the stark reality that highly radioactive waste and nuclear debris will continue to threaten humanity for at least 100,000 years, the nuclear power plant issue should not be limited to that of energy policies, but that of future human security. If we extend the time axis to the past, it means finding out the truth about the violation of human rights and humanitarian law, highlighting victims of war crimes and punishing those responsible for such deeds. This focus on human security should encompass the victims who have already died.
This paper discussed some aspects of human security in a developed country, focusing on the triple disaster in Japan. The author argued that the concept of human security should be used as a preventive measure to prevent further nuclear crises, and discussed the challenges of  facing society in Japan.
The lessons learned in Japan are not unique; if an unprecedented natural  or manmade disaster were to strike, other donors, and developed countries might experience the same nightmare as Japan did. Timely, objective and serious evaluations and studies on the operations of the government, academia, practitioners as well as Japanese NGO community after 3/11 are required. The application of human security concept in this process will be an important challenge

[1] Alex J. Bellamy, Responsibility to Protect, Polity Press, 2009, p. 98.
[2] Takeo Kinoshita, “Tôden no Bôsô to Kigyôshugi teki Tôgô” (TEPCO on a Rampage and Enterprises Sticking Together), POSSE Vol. 11, <3.11> ga Yurugashita Rôdô (Labour force shaken by 3.11), Gôdô Shuppan, 2011.
[3] Kunio Horie, Gempatsu Gypsie, zôho kaitei-ban – Hibaku Shita Uke Rôdôsha no Kiroku (Nuclear power gypsies new expanded edition – Record of contract labour victims), Gendai Shokan, 2011.
[4] Kenji Higuchi, Yami ni Kesareru Gempatsu Hibakusha (Nuclear power victims cast into darkness), Hachigatsu-shokan, 2011.
[5] Ryo Oshiba, International Organization and Human Security in Akio Takayanagi and Rony Alexander eds. Watashi Tachi no Heiwa Wo Tsukuru, Horitsu Bunka Sha, 2004, pp.290-294;Makoto Katsumata eds., Globlization and Human Security, Nihon Kezaizai Hyoron sha, 2001
[6] Commission on Human Security, Human Security Now, New York, 2003, p. 28.