日本語 English

Disaster Prevention

Disaster Management

Japan is located in the Circum-Pacific Mobile Belt where seismic and volcanic activities occur constantly. Although the country covers only 0.25% of the land area on the planet, the number of earthquakes and active volcanoes is quite high. In addition, because of geographical, topographical, and meteorological conditions, the country is subject to frequent natural disasters such as typhoons, torrential rains, and heavy snowfalls, as well as earthquakes and tsunami. In order to minimize damages, proper knowledge of disaster management is very important(*1)  

Natural Disasters

Earthquake is one of the most frequent natural disasters in Japan. There are about 1,500 earthquakes per year (2-3 per day). Since earthquakes happen with no warning, it is important to be prepared for earthquakes at all time.

Heavy Rain, Typhoon
Heavy rain caused by the stationary front at the turn of the season is a common weather system in Japan. Especially from July to October, our country is prone to natural disast#ers such as heavy rain and strong wind due to the influence of typhoon and front. Other than typhoon, torrential rain or localized heavy rain have become more common recently, and these cause flooding damage to buildings and roads. To protect yourself from these disasters, pay attention to weather updates from Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) as well as prepare for emergency situations at earlier stage. You can also obtain updated information from NHK world. NHK World https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/
Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA):www.jma.go.jp/jma/en/Emergency_Warning/ew_index.html

How to check class cancellation due to inclement weather (e.g. Typhoon) or emergencies

・Please make inquiry to the office of your faculty/graduate school. The notification methods vary depending on faculties/graduate schools (Some information may be available on their websites.)

・Departments/programs/labs may issue notices individually. Learn in advance the notification methods of your own faculty/graduate school.

・If notice/information is not available, check the weather/public transportation information. Always prioritize your safety and do not try to come to campus in any unsafe situation.
*You can check the Warnings/Advisories announced on the website of the Japan Meteorological Agency: http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/en/menu.html


Earthquake Preparedness

Registering with your country's embassy
・Although not obligatory it is advisable to inform your country's embassy or consulate general about your residency in Japan in case of a disaster.Depending on the country this can be done by registering directly at the embassy or using their online service.

Home Preparations
・Secure furniture with fasteners to prevent toppling during an earthquake. Before fasteners, be sure to obtain permission from your landlord or building superintendent. Fasteners and other anti-toppling devices are available at most department stores and home improvement / DIY centers. It is especially important to firmly secure book shelves and furniture holding heavy objects in order to prevent their contents from tumbling out.
・Store your important items together in one location
Store your passport and other important items in the same place so that you can readily take them with you when evacuating.
・Determine the safest spot inside your home.
Relatively safe spots include areas with many posts / pillars, areas where heavy objects will not fall, and areas beneath sturdy furniture.

Family Preparations
・Decide a place for family members to gather during an emergency.
・Inform your children's school / kindergarten of your emergency contact information.

Evacuation Preparations

Learn the location of your local disaster refuge area.
If your house is in danger of collapsing, or when notified to evacuate by city hall, fire department, or police department, promptly evacuate to evacuation area/center on foot. Carry your belongings (make sure to minimize it) in a backpack so that both of your hands are free. Your municipal office has brochures on disaster refuge areas and earthquake-related information, so be sure to obtain a copy and carefully read it.
When an earthquake strikes, first respond as follows:
・Turn off all electric / gas burners and heaters, and close the gas main.

・Open a window or door leading outside to keep an exit open for evacuation.

・Stay away from windows and other glass objects to protect yourself from glass shards.

・Take shelter under a sturdy desk, a door frame, or other area providing protection.

・If inside a building, do not rush outdoors, as there is a high risk of being hit by falling objects.

・If outdoors, evacuate to a safe, wide open area.

Precautions When Evacuating:
Even after the initial big tremors subside, there is a strong likelihood that aftershocks will follow for some time. Accordingly, it is wise not to re-enter or remain inside your home. Instead, cooperate with your neighbors in evacuating to as safe a place as possible.

 Wear shoes to protect your feet when crossing areas covered with broken glass.

 Protect your head by covering it with a cushion or similar object.

 If smoke is in the air, cover your mouth and nose with a moist cloth.

 Do not use elevators.

 Carefully listen to a radio to obtain accurate information.

 Do not evacuate by automobile.

 Do your best to stay calm.

※ Since many people use the phone right after an earthquake, you may have trouble getting through. Once things have settled down, contact your family back home, and make sure you also contact the university (your individual lab/faculty/graduate school) in order to let them know of your condition (safety confirmation). In principle, safety confirmation is carried out by the individual labs, but in case you are not affiliated with a specific lab, please make sure you are aware of the methods and contact details required to report in.

What to do in the event of earthquake while on campus

The University of Tokyo has specified that the following actions are to be taken in the event of an earthquake measuring greater than Shindo 5 lower on the Japanese seismic scale while on campus. In the event of an earthquake occurring, your first task is to individually ensure your own safety, and when the shaking stops follow the instructions given by members of faculty or staff.

The initial assembly points are specified by buildings, while the main evacuation sites have been specified by Faculties and graduate schools. If you are not sure of the locations of your evacuation sites, please check with the administration offices of your departments.

In principle please remain on campus rather trying to get home, as the transportation systems will have stopped and there may be possibilities of fires and other dangers.

In the event of an earthquake measuring greater than "Shindo 6" (six on the Japanese seismic scale), emergency building safety inspection (Oukyu kikendo hantei) will be carried out throughout campus. The results of inspection for each building will be placed so that it’s easy for everyone to see. If there are no notices visible, do not enter the building and follow the instructions by the disaster management staff.

If you are given instructions from the disaster management staff even while off campus, please follow them.

Useful links for Disaster reductions

Earthquake Early Warning System

Notifications will not be issued unless there is shaking that is expected to be level 4 or higher. Automatic cellphone notification depends on the company and model of phone.There are separate applications that can be downloaded for smart phones as well as automatic notifications from your carrier.
More information on the EEW:http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/en/Emergency_Warning/ew_index.html

Disaster Emergency Message Dial Tel: 171

This service goes into operation whenever phone communication with an area hit by an earthquake, volcanic eruption, or other big disaster is disrupted by the heavy influx of phone calls.
It enables people in the disaster area to record messages to inform others of their situation.
For details,visit the webpage: http://www.ntt-east.co.jp/saigai/voice171/

Disaster Message Board

This service enables cell phone users to record messages to inform others of their situation. It becomes available when a major disaster occurs, such as an earthquake rated at least 6-lower on the Japanese seismic scale.
See the following webpages for more information.
・Disaster Emergency Message Dial and Disaster Emergency Message Board (mobile phones and web171)

Disaster Preparedness Tokyo Handbook  
방재책자 '도쿄방재'

Disaster Reduction Map: http://map.bousai.metro.tokyo.jp/en/pc/

Tokyo International Communication Committee:
 http://www.tokyo-icc.jp/guide_eng/kinkyu/05.html (English)
Useful app which provides disaster information to foreigners: Safety tips:
・10 tips for Earthquake safety (Tokyo Fire Department)
・10 ways to prepare for an Earthquake (Tokyo Fire Department)

Emergency Card for Non-Japanese Speaker: http://www.epic.or.jp/kurasu/disaster.html
・Emergency Card for Non-Japanese Speaker English version
・Kartu Darurat Indonesian version
・紧急卡片 Chinese version 中文
・긴급 카드 Korean version 韓国語

Weather, Climate & Earthquake Information:
・Typhoon information, Warnings/Advisories (Japan Meteorological Agency) http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/en/menu.html
・Earthquake Information (Japan Meteorological Agency)
・Tsunami Information (Japan Meteorological Agency)
・Tokyo Fire Department Multilingual Page

Local information:
Tokyo Metropolitan Government

 Hongo campus area
 ・Bunkyo-ku Disaster Measures: http://bousaiweb.city.bunkyo.lg.jp/news/other/documents/bunkyoukubousaikeihatugaikokugoban.pdf

 Komaba campus area
・Meguro-Ku Multilanguage Information with Disaster Survival Manual(English)

Kashiwa campus area
・Kashiwa City Disaster and Emergency Information:
・Kashiwa City Multilingual E-mail Distribution Service:

・Nagareyama City Disaster and Emergency Information:
・Nagareyama City Anshin E-mail Distribution Service:

*1 Cabinet Office, Government of Japan "Disaster management in Japan":http://www.bousai.go.jp/1info/pdf/saigaipamphlet_je.pdf