“MIT Perspectives on 3.11″ Symposium online

On March 25th, MIT Professors Joseph Sussman, James Wescoat, and Richard Samuels spoke at the “MIT Perspectives on 3.11″ Symposium hosted by the University of Tokyo.  The event was chaired by Architecture Professor Toshio Otsuki and the discussant was Urban Engineering Professor Takashi Onishi, both of the University of Tokyo.

Below you will find the audio recording of the symposium, focusing on the professors’ research and findings in fields from civil engineering and systems research to landscape architecture to political science.  The latter portion of the event, a discussion with Professor Onishi, will be posted soon.

MIT News / Japan after the disaster

“When we talk about crises, they are instruments, or tools. [...] They’re not independently transformative. They’re tools in the service of people with preferences, and those preferences are remarkably sticky.”

Richard Samuels, in a recent article published in MIT News on Japanese politics and policy since the triple disaster in 2011

Event at MIT: BEYOND 3.11 on Thursday 3/14 at 6pm

Please join MIT graduate and undergraduate students and the Japanese Society of Undergraduates (JSU) for a talk and reception at MIT to hear updates from Tohoku as we observe the 2nd anniversary of the 2010 earthquake and tsunami.

When: 6:00 pm on Thursday, March 14, 2013
Where: MIT Student Center Room 407 (Building W20)
Open to the general public 
RSVP: Link (http://goo.gl/DeTUJ) or Facebook page
(Space is limited, so please RSVP) 


  • Richard J. Samuels, Ford International Professor of Political Science; Director of the Center for International Studies, MIT
  • Shun Kanda, Senior Lecturer, Department of Architecture; Director, MIT Japan 3.11 Initiative
  • Mio Yamamoto, Co-Founder and Director of World in Asia; Class of 2013, MIT Sloan School of Management

“Using 3.11 for Policy Change” by Richard J. Samuels

Japanese political entrepreneurs used the catastrophe in Tohoku to nudge national policy in their preferred direction by constructing narratives and assigning blame for 3.11.   Battles among competing perspectives on change and contested appeals to leadership, community, and risk have defined post-3.11 politics and public policy in Japan, particularly in the areas of national security, energy policy, and local governance.

“BEYOND 3.11″ by Shun Kanda

3 INSIGHTs_Toward Disaster-Resilient & Sustainable Futures for Minamisanriku; a report on the on-going work by the US and Japan-based MIT 3.11 Initiative team as we apprise our assistance continuing into the third year of recovery in Tohoku.

“Social Innovation from Tohoku” by Mio Yamamoto

How social entrepreneurs are addressing pressing social problems such as education, job creation, healthcare in Touhoku in collaboration with the private and public sectors. 

For more information, contact: Mio Yamamoto, mioy AT mit DOT edu 

‘Power of People’ looks to Minami-Sanriku’s future

Shun Kanda recently gave a lecture at MIT to a group of students from Tohoku entitled “Power of Place, of People, as One.”  He showcased the recently completed Garden Pavilione in Baba-Nakayama and the community-driven initiatives that have developed in the wake of 3/11.  Also featured were creative ideas and new typologies for the future of coastal towns in Tohoku as they move to higher ground.

The students are all survivors of the 3/11 disaster who have joined the non-profit organization, Beyond Tomorrow.  They are visiting the US to obtain first-hand accounts from leaders in New Orleans, New York, and Washington D.C.  Their Boston visit was sponsored by the Fish Family Foundation.

A similar lecture was also given at University of Tokyo on July 29th, at the start of the Japan 3/11 Design Workshop.