Our research team executed a questionnaire survey to more than 3000 persons in the disaster area and to all over Japan in March 2014, three years after the Great East Japan Earthquake. We asked them about their opinions on the earthquake as well as about their life and health status.
Based on the data, we find (1) that women's health is more affected than men's health, that (2) the people living in Fukushima prefecture are facing serious melancholy, and (3) that only a very small ratio of the citizens has trust in the Government. We also find that (4) not only the people in the disaster area, but also the people living in non-disaster areas had a negative health response against the earthquake in 2011.
The regression results indicate that the initial shock is more dominant on one's health status than the post earthquake effect. This means that we should concentrate on disaster prevention rather than on disaster management in the aftermath of earthquakes.
Hiroshi Yoshida is professor at the Graduate School of Economics at Tohoku University in Sendai. He is further affiliated with the International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS). His research fields are Economics of Aging, Public Economics and Disaster Science.