Japanese Scholar Warns U.S. on Lack of Earthquake Preparedness
April 7, 2011 • 11:12AM

A leading Japanese scholar yesterday warned the U.S. that it may regret its lack of preparedness for earthquakes and tsunamis. Dr. Akihiko Tanaka, professor of international politics at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Tokyo, VP of Tokyo University, and the incoming Chairman of the US-Japan Research Institute (USJI), gave the warning at a USJI-sponsored forum in Washington, DC today, on "Japan after March 11."

EIR asked the panel to comment on lessons that should be learned in the US from the disaster, in light of the Rim of Fire events driven by extreme solar activity, the likelihood that the US Westcoast trouble is coming soon, and that the Obama Administration is taking down the means for forecasting earthquakes and studying cosmic radiation influences on the Earth. A US academic on the panel gave a typical Boomer response, that he was from California and that the nuclear plants are near faults and we must review them all.

Then Dr. Tanaka took the floor and said that the US government and the state governments must look at the "worst case scenario." He noted that Japan, perhaps the best prepared nation on Earth for earthquakes and tsunamis, was overwhelmed by the scope of the March 11 events, "despite the fact that we expect tsunamis every 30-40 years." He said that the last tsunami of this scale in Japan was in the 9th Century. He continued: "In California, they have a massive earthquake approximately every other century, so there's a question about preparing for something with such a low probability. I think there are lessons the US and the states must learn from us on this."

Dr. Tanaka also emphasized that the horrendous death toll of perhaps 30,000 from the tsunami, must be viewed from the fact that 200,000 homes were demolished, i.e., that the thirty-minute warning of the oncoming tsunami saved saved hundreds of thousands of lives. Had the warning issued a full week earlier, as reported by Prof. Biaggi, been acted upon, far more lives could have been saved.