The Daily Manila Shimbun


More Japanese See Self-Help as Important during Disasters

June 12, 2018

Tokyo- More Japanese people place importance on self-help efforts in protecting themselves and their families in the event of disasters, the government said in an annual report Tuesday.

In a 2017 survey on people's disaster prevention awareness, 39.8 pct said they think self-help is necessary, more than double from 18.6 pct in 2002, the report showed.

The survey also found that 24.5 pct attach importance to mutual assistance among local people, up from 14.0 pct, according to the 2018 disaster prevention white paper, approved at the day's cabinet meeting.

Meanwhile, the percentage of respondents who think support from the central and local governments is important fell by 18.7 percentage points to 6.2 pct.

This was apparently because the March 2011 powerful earthquake and tsunami that mainly hit the country's northeastern region and other major disasters have revealed that such public support has its limits.

The survey results suggest that the public are increasingly aware of the importance of self-help and mutual help, a Cabinet Office official said.

The survey was conducted in November 2017 on 3,000 people aged 18 and over across Japan, of whom 61.3 pct gave valid answers. They were asked what kind of response is important in the event of a disaster.

People will need to reduce damage through own and mutual help in times of major disasters that affect wide areas, such as a possible huge earthquake occurring in the Nankai Trough off Japan's Pacific coast, because there are limits in public help, the report said. Jiji Press