Disaster Humanities and Social Science Division
International Strategy for Disaster Mitigation Lab
Ph.D. (Global Environmental Studies)
International Research Collaboration Office (Concurrent)

Research Subject(s)
My major research interests are international strategies for disaster risk reduction (DRR), humanitarian assistance, and the roles of various stakeholders in DRR, such as academia, international organizations, NGOs, NPOs, the private sector, local governments, and communities. I have been conducting research on and analyses of these issues, focusing on international frameworks and goals, such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, from both international and local perspectives.
Key Words
Disaster risk reduction / Humanitarian assistance / International cooperation / NGOs / Higher education
Research Activities

The IRIDeS, Tohoku University collaborated with the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) to establish the Multi-Hazards Program in 2013. It aims to harness the collective capacities of APRU universities for cutting-edge research on DRR and contribute to international policy-making processes to improve DRR capacity in the region. I have been the program director since its inception and am responsible for planning, coordinating, and managing its activities. Major activities include a summer school, annual symposium, and campus safety program. In addition, the program plays an important role in managing a new international journal called Progress in Disaster Science, which is published by Elsevier and contributes to the international sharing of disaster science research. Furthermore, in order to share the program's research findings and recommendations in international discussions, I have been contributing to discussions at the global level by participating in various international conferences and meetings including the UN’s Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Asian Ministerial Conference on DRR.     

I have been carrying out a project called Strengthening the Disaster Risk Reduction Capacity to Improve the Safety and Security of Communities by Understanding Disaster Risks in Malaysia with University of Technology Malaysia, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, and the Slangor State in Malaysia. This project aims to equip local governments and community leaders with the skills and knowledge necessary to build a DRR program at the grassroots level and from the bottom up with the unique approach of instilling a science-based understanding of disaster risks in community leaders, members, and local authorities and having them work together to develop DRR activities and programs that are best suited to their needs and understandings.    

In the field of humanitarian assistance, the major actors include international organizations, NGOs, donors, and governments. In particular, the roles of local actors, such as NGOs, NPOs, municipalities, small and medium-sized enterprises, and communities are extremely important. In case of disasters in Japan, the support and leadership of municipalities and local NGOs and NPOs is increasingly important, especially due to the impacts of population degradation and an aging society. For that reason, I have also been conducting research on the roles of local NGOs and NPOs involved in disaster risk management and their future contributions based on the experiences of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011, the Kumamot earthquake in 2016, and the Western Japan flood in 2018, focusing on the collaboration between municipalities and local NGOs and NPOs.        

Selected Works

Izumi, T., Sukhwani, W., Surjan, A., and Shaw, R. (2020) Managing and responding to pandemics in higher educational institutions: initial learning from COVID-19, International Journal of Disaster Resilient in the Built Environment, doi:10.1108/IJDRBE-06-2020-0054

Izumi, T., Shaw, R., Ishiwatari, M., Djalante, R., and Komino, T. (2019) Disaster risk reduction and innovation, Progress in Disaster Science, Vol. 2.

Castaneda-Garza, G., Valero-Urena, G., and Izumi, T. (2018) Visual Narrative of the Loss of Energy after Natural Disasters, Climate 7(10),118. doi:10.3390/cli7100118

Shaw, R., Shiwaku, K., and Izumi, T. (Eds) (2017) 『Science and Technology in Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia: Potentials and Challenges 』Elsevier. Paperback ISBN: 9780128127117 

Izumi, T. (2016) Science and Practical Disaster Risk Reduction: Role of Universities and Academia in Disaster Risk Reduction ~ From the Discussions at the UNWCDRR public forum by APRU and IRIDeS" Journal of Disaster Research, 11(3).pp. 454-458. doi:10.20965/jdr.2016.p0454

Selected Memberships
  • Japan Society for Natural Disaster Science

With more than 15 years of extensive and practical field experience with UN agencies, such as UN Habitat, UNOCHA, UNDRR, UNORC, and international NGOs, I will continue working to make the best use of my research on practices to provide support to people in need.