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Research Initiative for Natural Disaster Prevention of Oil and Gas Spill in Industrial Parks
Oil storage tanks in industrial parks were heavily damaged by large scale tsunami, and large-scale oil spills occurred, which led to fire in entire city area, after Great East Japan earthquake on March 11, 2011.
Much more larger scale disasters of damages and hazardous materials releases will be estimated in Tokyo Bay, Ise Bay or Osaka Bay if Tokai-Tonankai-Nankai earthquake simultaneously occurs. It is very urgent to perform risk assessment of damages and hazardous materials releases caused by large scale earthquake and tsunami, and take countermeasures to decrease such disasters. This research initiative purposes to perform risk assessment of damages and hazardous materials releases caused by large scale earthquake and tsunami, propose countermeasures to decrease such disasters, and finally make concrete guidelines for them.
The School of Human Sciences was established in 1972 covering three academic disciplines: psychology, sociology and education. It was the first school or faculty to carry the name 'human sciences' in the country. In 1976 the Graduate School of Human Sciences was created offering Master and Doctoral level programs. Today areas of study include behavioral sciences, psychology, sociology, biological and cultural anthropology, education, philosophy, development studies and area studies.
In 2011 the School of Human Sciences launched a new program taught entirely in English. The new program aims to cultivate self-motivated and reflective students with a sophisticated knowledge base and the necessary practical skills to meet the challenges that they will face in our fast-changing, globalized world. The program offers students two majors to choose from Global Citizenship and Contemporary Japan. While offering an English language learning environment in the classroom, students will also be given an opportunity to begin learning or improve their Japanese language skills.
Ritsumeikan boasts four world-class research institutes which work together to promote education and research at Ritsumeikan University and network with researchers and academic societies all over the world.
The history of Ritsumeikan dates back to 1869 when Prince Kinmochi Saionji, an eminent international statesman of modern Japan, founded "Ritsumeikan" as a private academy on the site of the Kyoto Imperial Palace. In 1900, Kojuro Nakagawa, former secretary of Prince Saionji, established Kyoto Hosei School, an evening law school that was open to working people. This school formally adopted the name Ritsumeikan in 1913 and was finally given the status of a university in 1922.
Institute of Disaster Mitigation for Urban Cultural Heritage, Ritsumeikan University based in Kyoto and Shiga, the rich repository of cultural heritage, has been aiming at establishing a base hub for education and research in "Disaster Mitigation of Cultural Heritage and Historic Cities." This considers preservation of arts and culture and disaster mitigation measures to protect the community that supports culture and arts as a whole. In 2003,
the University established the Research Center for Disaster Mitigation of Urban Cultural Heritage to lead research activities where arts and sciences work in cooperation, with substantial external funds such as the 21st Century COE Program and the Global COE Program adopted by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). The primary objective of the Center is to protect urban cultural assets from disasters, and establish the necessary knowledge and technology to protect cultural heritage for future generations.
Since the UNESCO headquarter authorized the Ritsumeikan University as a UNESCO Chair in 2006, we have implemented an international training program on disaster mitigation for cultural heritage for nine consecutive years up to 2014. This has been taking on the role as an international network hub for the study.
Recent increase global warming has elevated the need for preparedness against destructive typhoons and strategicadaptation methods to the rapid rise in sea level, especially in tropical and subtropical regions.
Preparedness against huge earthquakes and tsunamis is a matter of great urgency after the Great East Japan Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011.
The Disaster Prevention Research Center for Island Regions was established as the principal center considering the above factors, and it provides a platform for research on natural disasters in Okinawa Prefecture.
The center promotes the multidisciplinary studies on disaster prevention methods for earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, landslides and floods. The development of numerical simulations to predict these disasters, wireless communications and satellite distance educations for island regions in emergency is promoted. Moreover, research of a human behavioral domain called the self-help, mutual-help and public-help at the time of a disaster is promoted.
There is a great risk (denoted as seismic mega risk) of huge damage by large earthquakes centered underneath major cities of Japan, since vulnerability to natural disasters has been increased due to complicated urban functions that have resulted from excessive concentration of population, economic activities that include infrastructure and other major developments.
Not only are the large cities in Japan, but also many other cities in the world are currently (or will be) confronted by the same risk, which constitutes a real threat to the sustainable urban life at global level. Moreover, the recent earthquakes that occurred in Japan have revealed new problems of damage characteristics caused by long period shaking or consequential impacts of functional disorder of critical facilities such as the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, which had not been properly taken into account as discovered by the research activities of the "21st century COE (21COE) Program on Evolution of Urban Earthquake Engineering". Such mega-scale damages caused by an earthquake may bring the Japanese economy to ruin as well as impact the world economies at the same time. In order to avoid these catastrophes and build a safe environment for society, advanced research activities on Urban Earthquake Engineering that integrate earthquake-resistant technologies on urban development, regeneration, and reconstruction into a single framework, have to be urgently and strongly encouraged. Further these activities shall include fostering of researchers and academic staff and disaster management engineers who will be able to develop new strategies and practices for implementing appropriate technologies for mitigating these mega-risks in a global field.
ERI employs over 80 top-notch academics (professors, associate professors and research associates) drawn from diverse fields, ranging from seismology to volcanology, geophysics, geochemistry, geology, geodesy, applied mathematics, information science, civil engineering and seismic engineering.
Together with a support staff of 50, 30 visiting researchers and 70 graduate students, we work on advanced researches, technique development, field observations, experiments, theoretical studies, analyses and computer simulations. We promote comprehensive research and education in order to achieve two goals. 1) Scientifically unraveling the various phenomena within the earth and seismic / volcanic activities on our planet, 2) Mitigation of disasters from such phenomena.
The ERI is composed of 4 divisions, 5 centers, and other supporting offices and sections.