Return Migration after Natural Disasters

Mikiyasu Nakayama, Nicholas Bryner, Satoru Mimura


This special issue features policy priorities, public perceptions, and policy options for addressing post-disaster return migration in the United States, Japan, and a couple of Asian countries. It includes a series of case studies in these countries, which are based on a sustained dialogue among scholars and policymakers about whether and how to incentivize the return of displaced persons, considering social, economic, and environmental concerns. The research team, composed of researchers from Indonesia, Japan, Sri Lanka, and the United States, undertook a collaborative and interdisciplinary research process to improve understanding about how to respond to the needs of those displaced by natural disasters and to develop policy approaches for addressing post-disaster return. The research focused on the following three key issues: objectives of return migration (whether to return, in what configuration, etc.), priorities and perceptions that influence evacuees’ decision-making regarding return, and policies and practices that are used to pursue return objectives. This special issue includes ten articles on the following disaster cases: the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the Great Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004, and the Great Sumatra Island Earthquake in 2009. Important lessons for the future were secured out of these case studies, covering the entire phase of return, namely planning, implementation, and monitoring.

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Bruch, C., Karimi, S., Manatunge, J., & Nakayama, M. (2017). Barriers to long-term return after the Great East Japan Earthquake: Lessons from Hirono Town. Journal of Asian Development, 3(1), 23-39.

Bryner, N. S., Garcia-Lozano, M., & Bruch, C. (2017). Washed out: Policy and practical considerations affecting return after Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy. Journal of Asian Development, 3(1), 73-93.

Chosokabe, M., Sakamoto, M., & Nakayama, M. (2017). Dialog analysis using a text mining approach: Case study on Hirono Town. Journal of Asian Development, 3(1), 51-64.

Croshaw, H. R. (2017). In the wake of the 2004 Great Indian Ocean Tsunami: Internally displaced persons and the natural disaster response in the Maldives. Journal of Asian Development, 3(1), 125-143.

Karimi, S. (2017). Return Migration After 30 September 2009 Earthquake in West Sumatra, Indonesia. Journal of Asian Development, 3(1), 144-155.

Manatunge, J., & Abeysinghe, U. (2017). Factors affecting the satisfaction of post-disaster resettlers in the long term: A case study on the resettlement sites of tsunami-affected communities in Sri Lanka. Journal of Asian Development, 3(1), 94-124.

Sasaki, D. (2017). The basic trend of media reports on residents’ return in Fukushima: In the realms of text mining analysis. Journal of Asian Development, 3(1), 65-72.

Sato, A. (2017). The structure of problems surrounding the Fukushima Nuclear Accident evacuees. Journal of Asian Development, 3(1), 12-22.

Takagi, T. (2017). Evacuation and community issues caused by nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan. Journal of Asian Development, 3(1), 40-50.



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