Characterizing risk communication and awareness for sustainable society: The case of foreign residents in the tokyo metropolitan area of japan

Bismark Adu-Gyamfi, Rajib Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Many disasters occur in Japan, and therefore many initiatives to educate and integrate foreign residents into its society to overcome systematic barriers and enhance disaster preparedness have been implemented. Nevertheless, studies have highlighted foreign residents as a vulnerable group who are at risk of disasters in the country. The country anticipates and prepares for potential mega-disasters in the future; therefore, effective risk communication is vital to creating the required awareness and preparation. Therefore, this study looked at the changing foreigner–Japanese population mix in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area to ascertain its level of diversity and risk communication characteristics. It used secondary and primary data to analyze how heterogeneity among foreigners translates into a different understanding of their awareness. The study reveals that the 23 special wards within the Tokyo Metropolitan area can be compared to other recognized diverse cities in the world, with Shinjuku city, Minato city, Arakawa, and Taito cities being the most heterogeneous cities in Tokyo. Nevertheless, diversity within foreign residents creates diversity in information-gathering preferences, disaster drill participation preferences, and the overall knowledge in disaster prevention. The study suggests the use of these preferences as a tool to promote targeted risk communication mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5786
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 1


  • Disaster awareness
  • Foreigners in Japan
  • Population diversity
  • Risk communication
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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