Lessons Learned: Disaster Management Perspectives from Japan and Taiwan
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Lessons Learned: Disaster Management Perspectives from Japan and Taiwan

Podcast with Takako Izumi and T.H. Schee
November 5, 2021

In this Asia Insight podcast, Tom Lutken speaks with T.H. Schee of Open Knowledge Taiwan and Takako Izumi of Tohoku University about the disaster management lessons learned from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. With changes brought about by technology and global warming, alongside the ongoing impacts of a global pandemic, both experts weigh in on how our best practices for dealing with disasters can be informed by the past to better prepare for an uncertain future.

T.H. Schee is a digital veteran with 20 years of experience in the private and NGO sectors, including with web startups and the geospatial industry. He was a founding member of the Taiwan Internet Governance Forum and provided his expertise on digital crisis response to the UN Global Geospatial Information Management group. He has served as an advisor to government agencies and the city of Taipei (2016–18) and is a stalwart writer on the intersection of digital and tech policies.

Takako Izumi is Associate Professor at Tohoku University under the Office of the President (promotion of international disaster science) and the International Research Institute of Disaster Science and is Program Director of APRU-Tohoku University’s multi-hazard program. Dr. Izumi started her career in humanitarian assistance with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and has been involved in disaster response coordination in various countries in Asia, especially in the recovery from the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2005 and the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

Thomas Lutken is a Project Manager with the Energy and Environmental Affairs group at NBR. In this role, he helps manage NBR’s ongoing projects on environmental policy, economic development, and energy security. Mr. Lutken earned a master’s degree in environmental management from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment in 2019, with a thesis an economic study of the impacts of electricity quality in rural India. His interests include climate change, alternative energy, and electricity policy.


0:13 Introduction

1:38 What are the lessons we can learn on disaster response and recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake?

9:47 What is the role of technology in disaster response and preparation?

18:13 How has the Covid-19 pandemic upended traditional disaster management, preparedness, and response? How do you see the current pandemic altering the disaster management process and landscape?

25:29 How can we better account for changes brought about by climate change and what are the steps that are being taken in the disaster planning process to account for the warming climate?

This podcast was recorded on November 2, 2021.

About Asia Insight

The NBR podcast series Asia Insight features interviews with top Asia experts about key issues affecting the Indo-Pacific region, with a focus on implications for U.S. policy and businesses. Subscribe to Asia Insight on Podbean and Apple Podcasts and let us know what you think of the podcast on Twitter.

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Asia Insight theme music is by Laura Schwartz of Bellwether Bayou.

This podcast was edited by Sandra Ward at NBR.