Development of Collaborative Japan-United States Socio-Behavioral Disaster Research

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Systematic work on sociobehavioral aspects of disasters was first undertaken in the United States in the early 1950s and in Japan in the early 1960s. A substantial body of literature has since been produced by the critical mass of researchers who have developed in both countries. At present also, the most intensive and extensive studies on the topic anywhere in the world are being pursued in America and Japan. For about fifteen years, there has been informal contact between some researchers in the two countries, especially between the Disaster Research Center (DRC) and the oldest of the Japanese groups involved in disaster research, that headed by Professor Kitao Abe. These professional ties were strengthened in 1972 as a result of a week-long formal conference held at DRC where information was exchanged between ten Americans and eight Japanese disaster researchers. Contacts and visits between individual researchers in the two countries as well as meetings in the context of international conferences, such as at the World Congress of Sociology in Uppsala, Sweden in 1978, have continued to further bring together disaster researchers in the United States and Japan.
Socio-Behavior, disaster research, U.S. research, Japan