Politics, Psychology, Law, and Economics


Politics, Psychology, Law, and Economics



Natural disasters result from hydro-meteorological, geophysical, climatological, and biological phenomena that have adverse effects on the natural and built environment of the regions affected. For example, the disasters are in terms of material damage and victims.  According to the World Bank & United Nations report (2010), disasters have cumulative effects on decisions, social integration, poverty reduction, sanitation infrastructure, and construction techniques. All these actions provoke high-intensity natural events that have an array of political, economic, legal, and psychological impacts. The issue discussed in this paper is Japan’s earthquake in terms of its political, economic, legal, and psychological implications. The discussion of the issue is from an interdisciplinary perspective.

According to Mata-Lima, Alvino-Borba, Pinheiro, Mata-Lima, and Almeida (2013) “a trans-disciplinary approach to the underlying concept of natural disasters suggests that they are characterized by naturally occurring events whose consequences are often aggravated by man-made actions which surpass the capacity of man’s built infrastructure to contain” (p. 46). Loayza, Olaberría, Rigolini, and Christiaensen (2012) stressed that natural disasters have been linked with significant economic damages. For instance, Japan’s earthquake was linked with political, psychological, legal, and economic implications. As a result of Japan’s earthquake, the country experienced economic impacts of extreme severity, including high levels of material damage, diseases, and degradation of sanitary conditions. Japan’s earthquake and tsunami were followed by the Fukushima Nuclear Complex nuclear crisis, shortage of electricity, and evacuations resulting in negative economic implications for the country and the world (Nanto, Cooper, Donnelly &Johnson, 2011). More than 28,000 persons were killed while others went missing, and over 196,000 homes, as well as buildings, were partially and totally damaged (Nanto et al., 2011). Japan is a major trading partner of the United States, and it is also the fourth-largest agricultural export market, and the effects of the disaster resulted in to rise in world farm commodity markets as well as food prices

From a legal perspective, natural disasters have to be approached from a trans-disciplinary point of view because their prevention and mitigation need cooperation between various areas of economics, engineering, and law.  For instance, in order to solve the issue, planning laws existing in Japan played a major role in ensuring that the buildings and infrastructures were rebuilt (Zaré & Afrouz, 2012). In addition, there have been some legal concerns associated with trade between Japan and trade partners such as the U.S and Spain.

With regard to psychology, Japan’s disaster and tsunami were linked with a number of psychological effects on the affected victims. For example, people were killed, and others lost their homes, their family members, as well as the daily means of life. According to Loayza et al. (2012) disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis affected persons psychologically in terms of disease infection, relation to homes, lack of employment, and other lack of food and foodstuffs. In this context, Japan’s deadly earthquake and tsunami also resulted in disruption in global foodstuffs in terms of supply, and this could have affected the people.

The issue of Japan’s earthquake can be addressed from a political perspective. Smith, (2011) pointed out that the issue resulted in a political reaction by other developed countries with regard to the threat of nuclear energy, especially after the Fukushima Nuclear Complex (FNC) nuclear crisis. Following the FNC crisis, some governments have issued plans to phase out the use of nuclear energy (Ferris & Solis, 2013). Other countries have been compelled to invest more in disaster risk reduction strategies. Movements have also been established moves to abolish nuclear power and energy in Japan. The effects of the crisis from a political perspective have not only affected Japan but other countries in Asia and Europe. Ferris and Solis (2013) have also contended that the uprooting of the large infrastructural losses and communities has resulted in immediate disruptions in Japan’s supply networks. Subsequently, the disaster has resulted in dramatic drops in economic and industrial production, and this has imposed a toll on Japan’s economy as well as on other many other countries connected via the production networks. 

Thus, the disaster and earthquake in Japan is an example of an issue that can be analyzed through an interdisciplinary lens. For instance, the issue affected Japan and others countries economically and politically, while the people were psychologically impacted. Given that Japan plays a major role in the global economy, the effects of the earthquake and tsunami have been diverse.




References List

Ferris, E., & Solis, M (2013) Earthquake, Tsunami, Meltdown – The Triple Disaster’s Impact on Japan, Impact on the World. [Online] 

Loayza, N., Olaberría, E., Rigolini, J., Christiaensen, J.R. (2012). Natural Disasters and Growth: going beyond the averages. World Development, vo. 40, n. 7, pp. 1317-1336.

Mata-Lima, H., Alvino-Borba, A., Pinheiro, A., Mata-Lima, A., & Almeida, J A (2013) Impacts of natural disasters on environmental and socio-economic systems, Ambiente & Sociedade, vol. XVI, no. 3, pp. 45-64.

Nanto, D. K., Cooper, W. M., Donnelly, J. M.,  &Johnson, R. (2011) Japan's 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami: Economic Effects and Implications for the United States. Current Politics and Economics of Northern and Western Asia, pp. 1-24.

Smith, S. A. (2011) Japan's Earthquake -- Political, Economic and Energy Implications. Council for Foreign Relations[Online] 

World Bank (2010). Natural hazards, unnatural disasters: the economics of effective prevention. Washington, DC: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank.

Zaré, M., & Afrouz, S. G. (2012). Crisis Management of Tohoku; Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, 11 March 2011. Iranian Journal of Public Health, 41(6), 12–20.



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