Message from the Director

International Institute for Resilient Society
Director  Hiroshi Mutsuyoshi

The word ‘resilience’ refers to the ability to recover from or cope with adversity. It is roughly synonymous with terms such as toughness and flexibility. A resilient society, then, is a society that can cope with even large natural disasters without devastating damages or loss of quality of life.

Japan often suffers serious damages to property and human life due to natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, torrential downpours, and heavy snowfalls. The serious tsunami damage resulting from the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 is still very fresh in our minds. Reconstruction and recovery work made necessary by this disaster is still being carried out today.

In order to build a society that is resilient to such disasters and that can recover as quickly as possible, we must build a strong social infrastructure and implement disaster prevention activities. To this end, cooperation is essential – not only among the conventional fields of engineering, but also involving the humanities and social sciences.

At the same time, Japan’s social infrastructure is aging rapidly. To ensure a resilient society, it is extremely important to manage this situation by inspecting existing installations and implementing appropriate maintenance.

The International Institute for Resilient Society, based at Saitama University, is a research center established in 2014 to carry out research and development in three fields related to resilience:

 ・Infrastructure Resilience

 ・Disaster Prevention and the Environment

 ・Integration of Humanities and Engineering

The work of the resilient society is to continuously strive for a safe and secure society in the face of global phenomena such as sudden natural disasters and climate change, depletion of energy and food resources, and aging of the social infrastructure.