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Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3225; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093225

Financial Imbalances in Regional Disaster Recovery Following Earthquakes—Case Study Concerning Housing-Cost Expenditures in Japan

Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-8628, Japan
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Received: 13 July 2018 / Revised: 27 August 2018 / Accepted: 31 August 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Abstract

In the aftermath of the 1995 Kobe Earthquake, a large-scale effort towards reconstruction of houses damaged by the quake was required. This led to increased mortgage, thereby financially plaguing a number of earthquake victims and inhibiting their long-term sustainability and self-supported recovery. The current framework of housing reconstruction assistance provided by the Japanese government does not account for regional disparities in cost and other socioeconomic factors. This study proposes a technique for estimating the cost of reconstructing household units damaged in an earthquake by considering the effects of construction methods influenced by regional climatic zones. The financial constraints on rebuilding resources have been estimated by considering the annual regional income and household savings, as determined by social factors and employment opportunities. The susceptibility of regions to the occurrence of earthquakes has also been factored in the calculation of recovery costs. Together, these factors are used to provide a more complete picture of economic costs associated with earthquake recovery in different regions of Japan, thereby revealing large disparities in the difficulty and financial burden involved in the reconstruction of household units. Results of this study could be used to develop a robust system for earthquake-recovery assistance that accounts for differences in recovery costs between different regions, thereby improving the speed and quality of post-earthquake recovery. View Full-Text
Keywords: economic loss; building damage; reconstruction costs; regional disparities; risk finance; debt burden economic loss; building damage; reconstruction costs; regional disparities; risk finance; debt burden
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Nakashima, T.; Okada, S. Financial Imbalances in Regional Disaster Recovery Following Earthquakes—Case Study Concerning Housing-Cost Expenditures in Japan. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3225.

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