Priority Practices for Addressing Non-economic Loss and Damage caused by Typhoons in Japan: Case Study of Nachikatsuura Town

Research Report
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This report evaluates the current situation of non-economic loss and damages (NELDs) in the disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) interventions in Japan using a case of Nachikatsuura Town. The ultimate objective of this study is to identify the practices that will better mitigate the NELDs in the context of the study location and to provide recommendations to address some issues identified in this study. The NELDs caused by climate-related disasters, such as typhoons, are a challenge that Japan must face. The current measures to address the damages caused by typhoons mostly focus on physical damages, such as damages to assets including houses and crops. There is no empirical evidence on how these interventions affect the NELDs even indirectly. In contrast, the NELDs, which are related to health, education, social capital and local governance, have received less attention. It is important to address the NELDs since they form major part of the impacts of natural disasters and not considering them will not result in complete recover and long-term risk reduction. This study aims to identify and prioritize key NELDs caused by the 2011 Typhoon No.12 and identify appropriate practices to address these NELDs, which is necessary for the full recovery of the affected areas. A survey-based study was conducted in Nachikatsuura Town, Wakayama Prefecture, which has experienced depopulation due to aging of its residents, outmigration, a low birth rate, and which was severely affected by the typhoon. The analytic hierarchy process was applied to the survey data to identify key criteria, indicators and practice options that should be integrated into DRR and CCA decision making processes at the local level. The results indicated which NELDs should be prioritized, and suggested that DRR policy and planning, disaster compensation, and especially shelter policy as the most important intervention that could most effectively reduce NELDs. The results also indicated that the town’s disaster management planning and shelter policy could be strengthened by addressing issues associated with mental and chronic diseases, collaboration between the local government and local communities, and participation of communities in decision-making.