Japanese Studies Seminar Series - The Great Eastern Japan Earthquake: Assessing bilateral and regional outcomes from helping a friend in need

This week's presenter will be Kate Stevenson, Honours candidate, College of Asia and the Pacific. 


This paper explores whether there were diplomatic and strategic outcomes or 'benefits' from the Australian and US assistance to Japan in the aftermath of the 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake.

Based on the concept of 'disaster diplomacy', the research critically examines the existing literature to produce a new conceptual framework which matches the reality of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) in the Asia-Pacific.

By conducting fieldwork interviews with Australian, US and Japanese participants in Australia and Japan, Miss Stevenson has gathered first hand data on the operation and outcomes of the 2011 earthquake relief. From these insights she expands on the existing commentary on US-Japan assistance, and addresses an absence of analysis about the Australian response.

But did the disaster diplomacy in Japan have implications beyond the US- and Australia-Japan relationships? Examining the regional context of HA/DR activities and concerns about the rise of China, this thesis investigates whether disaster relief can produce outcomes for bilateral and regional diplomacy - whether it is more than just helping a friend in need.

The Japanese Studies Seminar Series is a fortnightly seminar hosted by the ANU Japan Centre during Friday lunchtimes.  Each fortnight an ANU Japan-related scholar shares their research with the group for discussion.  All are welcome to attend the series and engage with our Japan scholars on their research.

Updated:  27 November 2018/Responsible Officer:  JI Management Group/Page Contact:  Japan Institute