March 10, 2015: Guest Lecture
Andrew DeWit

IRES Seminar Series

Time: 12:30-1:30 pm

Location: AERL Theatre (room 120), 2202 Main Mall

Toyama and the Resilience Dividend in Japan

Abstract: December 2, 2014 saw Toyama City selected as the first Japanese case by the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities project. Toyama is a crossroads of smart community, compact city, green new deal and other environmental policies. Toyama is thus especially illustrative of smart policymaking programs that have proliferated in Japan, particularly in the wake of the 3-11 disaster precisely 4 years ago.

A key concept detailed by the Rockefeller Foundation is the so-called “resilience dividend.” The dividend accrues when investing in climate resilience pays off multiple returns in other spheres. The resilience dividend is an important metric for Japan, where resilience has been abundantly funded under Abenomics and institutionalized as a national initiative since July of 2014.

This talk highlights the strengths of the Japanese approach to building resilience and outlines some of its major weaknesses. Japan is innovating technology and governance that could lead to ample returns on resilience and an equitable distribution of the dividends. This talk suggests means through which Japan could accelerate these innovations and afford the 100 Resilience Cities project a new paradigm.

DeWittBio: Andrew DeWit is Professor in the School of Policy Studies at Rikkyo University and an “Asia-Pacific Journal” editor. He took his PhD in Political Science at UBC. His recent publications include “Climate Change and the Military Role in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response,” in Paul Bacon and Christopher Hobson (eds) Human Security and Japan’s Triple Disaster (Routledge, 2014), “Japan’s renewable power prospects,” in Jeff Kingston (ed) Critical Issues in Contemporary Japan (Routledge 2013), and (with Kaneko Masaru and Iida Tetsunari) “Fukushima and the Political Economy of Power Policy in Japan” in Jeff Kingston (ed) Natural Disaster and Nuclear Crisis in Japan: Response and Recovery after Japan’s 3/11 (Routledge, 2012). He is lead researcher for a five-year (2010-2015) Japanese-Government funded project on the political economy of the Feed-in Tariff.