Defining Disaster Relief: Disaster Victims and Disaster Releif Administration in the Case of Mt. Unzen's Eruption

August 1992 (VOL. 10, NO. 2)

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The eruption of Mt. Unzen, from November 1990 to June 1991, brought on one of the worst volcanic disasters in Japan. Never before in post-war Japanese history has a natural disaster forced so many people to live as evacuees for so long. Two questionnaire surveys were carried out, the first in August, 1991 and the second in February, 1992. Conclusions drawn from these indicates that material assistance is important, but even more significant is the adoption of far-sighted policies to help evacuees adapt to their new disaster-caused situation. This would seem to be the biggest lesson to be learned from how today\\'s affluent Japanese society dealt with the disaster.