New DPRI Inittiative for Japan-US Cooperative Research on Urban Earthquake Disaster Mitigation

The following is a description of "US-Japan Cooperative Research for Urban Earthquake Disaster Mitigation (hereafter referred to as Cooperative Research Program)," which is being planned as a Special Project of the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture (Monbusyo: Japanese name). The project is to be undertaken by the Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI), Kyoto University as the "Institution-in-Charge" for its operation.

The Cooperative Research Program has been developed with close communication with the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), whose counterpart program was announced in December 1997. It is part of the national efforts that are being taken on the basis of the Common Agenda agreed between the Japanese Prime Minister Hashimoto and U.S. President Clinton who met in Tokyo in April 1996. 

A Word from our Director

Professor Hirotake Imamoto
Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University (hereafter called DPRI) was founded in 1956, and has been functioning as a unique research and education complex that pursue scientific development of methodologies for protecting the mankind and the human society from every kind of natural disaster. In may 1996, DPRI established a new organizational system that emphasizes importance of multi-disciplinary integration involving geophysical science, engineering, and social sciences. The renovation was done on the basis of careful review of the DPRI's historical background and its national and international roles, as well as extensive discussion of needs for disaster mitigation research that are being raised by the modern urbanized society. The complex urban disaster caused by the 17 January 1995, Great Hanshin-Awaji (Kobe) Earthquake extensively affected the discussion, and its output was also implemented.

Now DPRI has a function as an institution open to research activities inviting nation-wide participation. It has also been designated by Monbusho as a "Center of Excellence" which is responsible for taking leadership in the disaster studies conducted by Japanese university researchers on national as well as international bases. For this reason, DPRI has been nominated as the institution to take a core role in the Cooperative Research Program. which will be performed under the U.S. and Japan Common Agenda for urban earthquake hazard mitigation. 

A Word from the Principal Investigator:

Professor Hiroyuki KAMEDA
The contents of the Cooperative Research Program are based on the recommendations developed in the Second U.S.-Japan workshop on Cooperative Research for Mitigation of Urban Earthquake Disasters: -Learning from Kobe and Northridge-, Tokyo, February 27-March 1, 1997, which was financially supported by Monbusho on the Japan side and NSF on the U.S. side. Many research projects and bilateral workshops have been and are being performed under Japanese and U.S. cooperation as shown in Fig.1. The cooperative research proposed herein is regarded to play a major role in the coming several years.

A proposal for the Cooperative Research Program was submitted from DPRI to Monbusho. The proposal was accepted in the 1998 fiscal-year national budget plan, which was announced by the Ministry of Finance on . of 1998 fiscal year which is to be announced by the Ministry of Finance on December 25, 1997.

Fig.1 Bilateral Research Efforts for Urban Earthquake Disaster Mitigation
(To see the detail, click above image)

How It Started:

After the 1994 US Northridge and 1995 Hyogoken-Nanbu (Kobe) Earthquakes,)B many US and Japanese researchers in the related fields met in various)B gatherings to exchange information on the damage and discuss mechanisms for)B possible cooperative research between the two countries. Notable gatherings)B among others included the US-Japan Workshop on Cooperative Research for)B Mitigation of Urban Earthquake Disasters: Learning from Kobe and)B Northridge, held at Hawaii, USA, from December 14 to 16, 1995, the North)B America-Japan Workshop on the Geotechnical Aspects of the Kobe, Loma Prieta)B and Northridge Earthquakes, held at Osaka, Japan, from January 24 to 26,)B 1996, and the Second US-Japan Workshop on Cooperative Research for)B Mitigation of Urban Earthquake Disasters: Learning from Kobe and)B Northridge, held at Tokyo, Japan, from February 27 to 28, 1997. Immediately)B after the Second US-Workshop at Tokyo, the Ministry of Education, Sports,)B and Culture of Japan expressed their interest in a university-based)B cooperative research between the US and Japan and suggested that the)B Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI), Kyoto University, serve as)B the host organization to conduct the research. DPRI prepared a research)B proposal and submitted it to the Ministry in June, 1997. The proposal whose)B outline is described below closely follows the recommendations endorsed )B at the Second US-Japan Workshop at Tokyo. 

Our 14 Projects:

In this Initiative, we propose 14 specific projects under 3 major categories:

Fig.2 Roles of the Major Subjects Proposed in the Cooperative Research Program
(To see the detail, click above image)

The relationship among these subjects are illustrated schematically inFig.2. They cover a comprehensive areas from physical issues to societal issues as well as pre-event mitigation, intra-event operation and post event management. It is a major challenge of this program to realize multi-disciplinary integration for urban earthquake disaster mitigation. 

Project Descriptions and Persons to Contact:

1. Development of an Advanced Technology to Protect the Built Environment)B and the Population from Near Field Earthquakes

Co-Group Leader:
Professor Shunsuke OTANI, Tokyo University
Professor Hirokazu IEMURA, Kyoto University

1-1)B An Integrated and Modular System for Performancce-Based Design

Group Leader: Professor Shunsuke OTANI, Tokyo University

1-2 Smart Materials and New Technologies for Improvement of Seismic)B Performance of Urban Structures

Group Leader: Professor Hirokazu IEMURA, Kyoto University,

1-1-1 Near-source and geological effects on ground motion
Persons to Contact:
Professor Kojiro IRIKURA, DPRI, Kyoto University,
Professor Tomotaka IWATA, DPRI, Kyoto University,
Methods to predict near-source ground motions in a quantitative manner are)B developed. Both theoretical and semi-empirical approaches are applied considering the physical and geometrical properties of earthquake faults)B and seismic wave propagation characteristics of the crust and surface)B geology. 
1-1-2 Behavior of liquefied ground and evaluation of seismic performance of)B underground structure
Persons to Contact;
Professor Masanori HAMADA, Waseda University
Professor Sumio SAWADA, DPRI, Kyoto University,
New technologies are developed for the following subjects: 1) seismic)B design methods of underground structures, 2) methods to estimate ground)B displacements induced by liquefaction, 3) design methods of foundation)B structures against potential liquefied ground. 
1-1-3 Calibration and improvement of structural response prediction and development of design methodologies conforming to multiple performance requirements
Persons to Contact;
Professor Shunsuke OTANI, University of Tokyo,
Professor Masayoshi. NAKASHIMA, DPRI, Kyoto University,
This topic consists of the following two subjects; i.e., (1) The calibration of the accuracy of current analysis methods for predicting the structural response. The work involves (a) Collection of data on structural responses obtained from previous earthquakes and of data on structural member responses obtained from previous laboratory tests, (b) Development of databases on the observed data, and (c) Calibration and refinement of analysis methods. (2) The development of performance-based design procedures. The work includes (a) Engineering definition of performance objectives and seismic hazards for structural members as well as systems and for non-structural members, (b) Identification of specific engineering parameters to control performance, (c) Expressions of performance levels using engineering parameters, (d) Validation of the expressions, and (e) Incorporation of reliability approaches for performance evaluation. 
1-1-4 Development of seismic engineering technologies for ensuring required structural performance
Persons to Contact;
Professor Shunsuke OTANI, University of Tokyo,
Professor Masayoshi. NAKASHIMA, DPRI, Kyoto University,
The objective is to refine and develop engineering technologies that enables to ensure the performance required in design. One area of study is the development of advanced steel building structures including (a) Refinement of the performance of welded beam-to-column connections, (b) Improvement of quality control using nondestructive testing and inspection, (c) Development of improved structural system concepts, and (d) Simulation by large scale tests. Another area is (a) Improvement of design for reinforced concrete (RC) buildings with irregular mass and/or stiffness distribution in plan or along height, (b) Improvement of stiffness and ductility evaluation for RC members, and (c) Understanding of behavior of structural members under multi-axial loading conditions. 
1-2-1 New Materials and Technologies for Seismic Retrofit of Bridge Structures
Person to Contact;
Professor Kazuhiko KAWASHIMA, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Professor Hirokazu IEMURA, Kyoto University,
The purpose of this research is to establish structural design method of)B bridges against severe earthquakes such as near source urban earthquakes)B and to develop advanced technologies for seismic retrofit of existing)B facilities. 
1-2-2 Smart Materials and Intelligent Systems for Earthquake Response)B Control of Urban Structures
Person to Contact;
Professor Yoshiyuki SUZUKI, DPRI, Kyoto University,
This research aims at the facilitation of practical use of earthquake)B response control technologies. For that purpose, active control systems are)B developed by using new materials and algorithms and are verified)B experimentally by using full-scale structures and/or shaking tables. 
1-2-3 Advanced Technologies for Health Monitoring and Damage Detection
Person to Contact;
Professor Tadanobu SATO, DPRI, Kyoto University,
The purpose of this research is to explore the frontiers of structural)B heath monitoring and damage)B detection systems and to accelerate their development through innovation)B and system integration of advanced technologies not only in software but hardware. 

2. High Performance Infrastructure systems for Destructive Urban Earthquakes

Group leader:
Professor Shiro TAKADA, Kobe University,

2-1 Criteria for performance-based design and management of infrastructure)B systems

Persons to Contact;
Professor Norio OKADA, DPRI, Kyoto University,
Professor Satoshi IWAI, DPRI, Kyoto University,
This research aims to establish the systematic methodology of planning,)B designing and managing high performance infrastructure systems. Reasonable)B performance criteria will be developed on the basis of interdisciplinary)B integration of engineering and social-science approaches. Simple models)B useful for political decision-maker, who are not familiar with engineering,)B will be constructed, and prioritization of retrofitting alternatives in)B terms of cost-effectiveness will be made by use of these models. 

2-2 Advanced technologies for reducing vulnerability and post-event management

Person to Contact;
Professor Fumio YAMAZAKI, University of Tokyo,
This research item aims to establish methodology to utilize advanced)B technologies for increasing functional reliability of civil infrastructures)B in urban earthquakes. Attempts will be made to synthesize advanced)B technologies of wide fields, such as seismic evaluation technique for)B infrastructures using new sensors and telecommunication tools, information)B management with the enhanced use of geographic information system (GIS),)B and emergency operation with real-time seismic monitoring. 

2-3 High-fidelity hazard and vulnerability assessment

Person to Contact;
Professor Takashi OKIMURA, Kobe University,
This research aims to develop a high-fidelity evaluation system for seismic)B hazards which can be monitored spatially and have highly damaging effects)B on the existing infrastructure system. The seismic hazards to study include)B seismic slope instability, potential liquefaction area, and lateral flow of)B ground. The vulnerability of ground to the seismic hazards are to be)B evaluated by using the most advanced measurement systems such as)B geotechnical database system for foundation ground, geographic information)B system (GIS), and high-fidelity satellite imaging system. A new approach to)B assess the fragility of ground will be developed through a data processing)B system to consider the uncertainties in the input data, and through the)B applications of the evaluation methods developed here to the data of)B Hyogoken-Nanbu Earthquake and Nothridge Earthquake. 

3. Comparative Study On Urban Earthquake Disaster Management

Group Leader:
Professor Haruo HAYASHI, DPRI, Kyoto University,
This research area intends to achieve two goals;
1) the study of both human and societal reactions after the earthquake to)B deepen the understanding of Response and Recovery processes, and
2) the integration of research findings obtained by respective)B disaster-related disciplines so that the practitioners could make use of)B them for better disaster management.

3-1 Disaster ethnography of post-disaster emergency management

Person to Contact;
Professor Haruo HAYASHI, DPRI, Kyoto University,
In this project, we would like to develop a systematic accounts of how)B disaster victims as well as disaster workers understand their experiences)B by applying ethnographic approach based on the experiences from the Kobe,the Northridge, and the Loma Prieta earthquakes. We also plan to have a)B series of panel survey on long-term recovery from the Kobe earthquake in)B 1999, 2001, and 2003 to establish a set of quantitative measures of)B recovery. 

3-2 Development of total loss quantification methods

Person to Contact;
Professor Yoshiaki KAWATA, DPRI, Kyoto University,
The goal of this project is to develop quantification methods for assessing)B the amount of "real losses" caused by the urban earthquake disaster. In)B Japan, it was counted as the losses only direct structural damages and)B human casualties caused by the earthquake. We failed to take into account)B such indirect damages which may be reflected in economic activities, extra)B expenses for responses and recovery, and the severity of human sufferings)B following the disaster. Both macroscopic and microscopic perspectives)B should be pursued for quantifying "real losses". We are now developing a)B macroscopic model for the long-term changes in economic activities)B following the disaster using the input-out matrix concepts. With having)B "real losses" estimates, we would like to develop a guideline for who)B should accept what level of risk for various kinds of losses. 

3-3 Development of tools for research finding systematization

Person to Contact;
Professor Takeyoshi TANAKA, DPRI, Kyoto University,
With the advent of the internet, the way we handle the knowledge and)B technology would be affected seriously in all aspects of information)B processing. In order to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and)B technology on disaster management through electronic media, this project)B aims to develop a prototype for accumulating, systematizing and exchanging)B the basic facts and research findings obtained from various fields of)B disaster studies. 

3-4 Development of multi-media disaster simulation methods.

Person to Contact;
Professor Michio MIYANO, Osaka City University,
Many GIS based real-time hazard simulation and damage estimation program)B were developed. Based on these advancement, we want to develop a software)B which simulates both responses and recovery processes given the hazard and)B damage. As a first step, we think that it might be useful to have a)B computer software to represent the chronological development of responses)B and recovery following the Kobe and the Northridge. At the same time, we)B would like to introduce the virtual-reality technology for all part of this)B software to make the simulation more intuitively understandable and)B attractive for a more wider audiences such as disaster managers as well as)B the general public. 

Organizational Framework for Project Execution

The organizational framework on the Japan side is illustrated in Fig.3. On this basis, the project will be operated under nation-wide and bilateral cooperation.

As DPRI, Kyoto University will be the institution in charge of project execution, the organizational framework will be established within DPRI in such a way that will enable it to operate the project in a most productive way. For this purpose, the Executive Committee and the Research Committee shall be organized. The Executive Committee, chaired by the Director of DPRI (Prof. Hirotake Imamoto), is in charge of fundamental orientations of the project execution. The Committee members will be nominated from the faculty of DPRI and some of the Research Committee members.

The Research Committee will decide actual procedure operating the project. It will consist of major researchers who were in charge of the development of the proposal submitted to Monbusho. The Research Committee members who are DPRI staffs will constitute the Task Committee, and will be engaged in smooth operation of the project.

The Coordination Committee shall be established for international coordination, review of the research progress and providing advice. Details of its mechanism will be explained about in the next chapter.

Fig.3 Organizational Framework of the Project on the Japan Side.
(To see the detail, click above image)

The following researchers will serve as Research Committee members. They are supposed to take roles of contact persons to help develop specific joint research proposals between U.S. and Japanese researchers.

Research Committee Membership (*: jointly Task Committee member)

International Coordination and Project Review

In accordance with the project development by NSF for the US side, Japan side has been taking efforts for organization of the Japan Coordination Committee. It will be in charge of the development of general framework of the bilateral cooperation through close contact with the U.S. Technical Coordination Committee as illustrated in Fig.4. The roster of the Japan Coordination Committee is as follows.

Fig.4 International Coordination)B 
(To see the detail, click above image)

Japan Coordination Committee Membership

    1. Shunsuke Otani, Professor, Department of Architecture, University of)B Tokyo, Structural Engineering.

    2. Kenzo Toki, Professor, Graduate School of Civil Engineering, Kyoto)B University, Disaster Prevention Policy.
    3. Tsuneo Okada, Professor, Department of Architectural Engineering,)B Shibaura Institute of Technology, Structural Engineering.

    4. Kojiro Irikura, Professor, Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto)B University, Strong Motion Estimation.
    5. Tatsuo Ohmachi, Professor, Interdisciplinary Graduate School f Science)B and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Ground Motion.
    6. Suminao)B Murakami, Professor, Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering,)B Yokohama National University, Macro-zonation.
    7. Hiroyuki Kameda,)B Professor, Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University,)B Disaster Mitigation Function.
    8. Fumio Yamazaki, Associate Professor,)B Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo, Real-time Control)B System.
    9. Hiroshi Kagami, Professor, Department of Architectural)B Engineering, Hokkaido University, Information Management.
    10. Osamu Hiroi,)B Professor, Institute of Socio-Information and Communication Studies,)B University of Tokyo, Human Response.
    11. Takeji Kokusho, Professor,)B Department of Civil Engineering, Chuo University, Geotechnical Engineering.
    12. Koji Morita, Professor, Department of Architecture, Chiba University,)B Steel Structure.
    13. Tadanobu Sato, Professor, Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto)B University, Structure-Foundation Dynamics

Submission of Solicited Project Proposals (Japan side)

Based on the Monbusho Special Project Plan described above, Japanese researchers who want to participate in one of these 14 projects are encouraged to submit one- to three-year individual research proposals. Even though the amount of grant awarded is limited, it is our great pleasure if the participants in this initiative are wiling to make valuable contributions for the development of urban earthquake disaster management research. It is strongly suggested that any research proposal should be coordinated with US counterpart researchers. All proposal should be prepared in English and submitted in comformance with the following guidelines:
  1. The research proposal must be prepared in English. The research title should be less than of 100 characters.
  2. Research project number (such as 1-1-2, 2-1, 3-2) must be identified out of the 14 projects.
  3. The name, affiliation, title, age, address, phone number, fax number, and e-mail address of the principal investigator and co-researchers must be provided.
  4. The profile of US counterpart researchers and the records of correspondence (letters, faxes, or e-mails) must be attached.
  5. The objectives, methods and siginificance of proposed research must be explained in 200 words each.
  6. Research period should be from one to three years.
  7. The use of research funds over the proposed research periods bust be itemized. Annual budget per research proposal is limited to the following amounts: \300,000 for fiscal year 1998, and \1,000,000 for fiscal years 1999 and 2000. From the nature of experimental research, a higher amount of budget may be accepted for research topics 1.1.3 and 1.1.4.
  8. International travel is not allowed in the budget. Other funding sources should be searched for international travels.
  9. A research proposal must be reached by March 15, 1998, at the following address:
  10. Research Support Section
    Disaster Prevention Research Institute
    Kyoto University
    (e-mail: )

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