Departmental Bulletin Paper 311以降の東北地方と観光動向 : 観光振興の条件を問う

本田, 量久  ,  服部, 泰

5pp.1 - 19 , 2015-03-31 , 東海大学観光学部 , 東海大学出版会
The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011, destroyed social and economic infrastructure and killed as many as 20,000 people, while the serious accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant thereafter forced the local people to abandon their contaminated hometowns. People who lost their family members, houses, property and jobs following the disaster are still struggling to overcome their personal hardships, and many of the evacuees have chosen to settle down in other parts of Japan for better life opportunities, leading to the depopulation and possibly the dissolution of many communities in the affected areas.
The local economy of the Tohoku Region, mainly based on agriculture, fisheries and tourism was also severely damaged by the tsunami and the nuclear crisis. In particular, the fear and anxiety of radioactive pollution following the nuclear accident persisted deeply in the minds of people throughout Japan, which caused potential tourists to keep away from the Tohoku Region and many consumers to avoid buying the food produced there. To make matters worse, the national government, TEPCO, and experts about nuclear power plants failed to provide prompt and correct information about the risks concerning the disaster, which might have exacerbated a sense of uncertainty inside and outside Japan.
However, the number of tourists visiting the Tohoku Region has been recovering these days, even though the nuclear power plant in Fukushima is still not under control. Ironically, people's psychological mechanism to arouse fear and anxiety vis-àvis high risk situations might stop functioning as time goes on. We should not be naively optimistic about the recent positive trend concerning tourism in the Tohoku Region unless the nuclear disaster is seen to be under control, safety is guaranteed for both tourists and the local people, and the living conditions there improve much more regarding housing, education, welfare, employment, and so on.

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