CKIII-01: Social, Economic, And System Aspects Of Earthquake Recovery and Reconstruction (Year One Research Report)
• James Beck, Anne Kiremidjian, George Mader, Robert Reitherman
• Kaoru Mizukoshi, Masamitsu Miyamura, Hiroshi Ishida, Hiroshi Hayasaka, Masayuki Kohiyama, and Kenji Ikegame
The current Phase III of the CUREe-Kajima Cooperative Research Program is devoted to two research areas: (1) Structural Implications of Near-Field Ground Motions, the subject of separate CUREe-Kajima reports; and (2) Social, Economic, and System Aspects of Earthquake Recovery and Reconstruction, the subject of the present report. The subject of the Recovery research area has been further defined to focus on recovery after earthquakes from the point of view or at the unit of analysis of the individual company,as distinct from the broader topic of societal recovery. The Recovery Project has been divided into two phases: (1) Year One (September 1996 - September 1997), an exploratory step documented in this report, and (2) the following Year Two-
Three Research Projects. In the current Year-One phase, three consultant experts were retained to investigate the recovery subject from different viewpoints: Prof. James Beck (Caltech), Prof. Anne Kiremidjian ( Stanford University), and Senior Lecturer George Mader (Stanford University); the project manager for the Year One phase is the author. The member of the CUREe Joint Oversight Committee (JOC) in charge of the Recovery Project is Prof. Haresh Shah (Stanford University). The assignment was to scout out feasible research themes for the Year Two-Three Projects. Separate from this report, a Year Two-Three Research Plan is being produced, to be finalized by the CUREe-Kajima Joint Oversight Committee in the summer of 1997.
Background is also provided here on selected social and economic aspects of business recovery in Japan and California relevant to the anticipated research projects. An engineering study of ground motion confronts no questions as to whether the findings from California can be applied to Japan or vice-versa: As long as the pertinent seismological and geological conditions are similar, findings from ground motion research are applicable, since the particles of earth undergoing motion caused by an earthquake are oblivious to human cultural differences. However, where social organizations such as businesses are concerned, the objection may be raised that it is impossible to apply new recovery aids developed in the Year Two-Three Research Projects from one side of the Pacific to the other. To address this concern, considerations that extend beyond the usual limits of earthquake engineering, including recognition of corporate culture characteristics that may differ in Japan and the USA, are evaluated to clarify potential difficulties and opportunities. The findings of that evaluation generally reveal more of the latter than the former: The wide range of research opportunities in his subject is not significantly limited by social and economic differences, as long as it is assumed that any business recovery support system developed in prototype form will be flexible enough to adapt to the variation that exists between Japanese and American companies, as well as among companies in either country.