This paper reviews climate change impacts and the existing disaster risk management system in Japan and offers the results of a structured questionnaire survey of the community leaders and disaster risk management personnel of Saijo city of Japan that assesses their perceptions about dealing with the extreme disasters by the existing disaster risk management systems. This study was inspired by the record number of typhoon landfall that has surprised the local government and communities in 2004. While unearthing the hidden vulnerabilities in cities like Saijo, this event has loosened the confidence of local communities on the disaster risk management systems. From the study, we conclude that the existing disaster risk management systems need further fillip and that the proactive community involvement in disaster risk management is still in nascent stages. Associating with the scientific community, involving the local communities (including the elderly), enhancing the redundancy in disaster risk management systems, inculcating strategic thinking and micro-level planning, conducting vulnerability assessments by considering the special circumstances including resource constraints of small cities and better policy coordination across the administrative hierarchy are some important considerations for dealing with the uncertainty brought by the extreme events.
ASJC Scopus subject areas