Iizuka, Akiko

Assistant Professor, Center for International Exchange, Utsunomiya University *Profile is at the time of the award.

2021Inamori Research GrantsBiology & Life sciences

Research topics
Comparative studies of the disaster volunteers for recovery and sustainable development
With the recent increase in the number of large-scale disasters in Japan and abroad, it is difficult for the residents of the affected areas, the national government, and local governments to carry out disaster recovery and reconstruction activities alone, and external support from disaster volunteers is essential. The purpose of this study is to conduct research in the areas affected by major disasters in Japan and the U.S., and to clarify the roles and functions of disaster volunteers through case studies and comparative analysis. We chose the U.S. for comparison for two reasons: first, it is similar to Japan in that in the event of a major disaster that exceeds the capacity of local governments to cope with and recover from, the local government will request the state disaster task force and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as a presidential disaster declaration, and the federal government will also take action; secondly, the awareness of risk management is higher than in Japan, and NPOs and volunteers are more active and proactive than in Japan during normal times. I believe this would be applicable in a variety of local communities in Japan in the future.


I am very grateful and honored to have been selected for the Inamori Research Grant. By making the most of the grant, I would like to analyze the topic of disaster volunteers in Japan, who are essential actors in disaster response and recovery of the affected areas, through comparison with the U.S., and deepen the discussion on the topic.

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Biology & Life sciences