Ishiwatari, Mikio

Water & Energy Management Unit, East Asia & Pacific Region
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Fields of Specialization
disaster risk management; water resources management
Water & Energy Management Unit, East Asia & Pacific Region
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Mikio Ishiwatari is Senior Water and Sanitation Specialist at the World Bank, and has been engaged in the projects of flood risk management (FRM) and disaster risk management (DRM) in East Asia and Pacific Region since 2013. He was Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist at the World Bank Institute, and the focal point for the “Learning from Megadisaster” project in Tokyo. The project was launched by the Government of Japan and the World Bank in October 2011. Before moving to the World Bank in 2011, Mr. Ishiwatari was Senior Advisor on Disaster Management and Water Resources Management at Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). He led formulation of the Japanese assistance policies of climate change adaptation and community-based DRM. Also, he led the preparation and supervision of dozens of JICA projects. He conducted post-project review on JICA’s rehabilitation projects following the Indian Ocean Tsunami, and produced “Post-project review report on rehabilitation following the Indian Ocean Tsunami from a human security perspective”; and led to produce research paper “Community-based disaster management: lessons learned from JICA projects”. He worked at various positions of DRM and water resources management at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport, Japan for over 15 years. He formulated and supervised national projects of FRM and highways in Iwami District as Director for Hamada River and Road Office, and was responsible for research and technology development in DRM and water resource management as Senior Deputy Director for River Technology and Information. He worked as Urban Development Specialist at the Asian Development Bank. He was editor of “Special Issue: Japanese experience of disaster management, Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management”. He has written various articles on DRM, climate change adaptation, and peace building that were published in DRM journals and publications.  He is a member of “Committee on Building Resilience to Natural Disasters” of the Japan Science Society; and experienced a member of “Advisory Council of Development Assistance in Climate Change Adaptation” of Ministry of Land Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan, a member of “Steering Committee of Water and Climate Change of Asia-Pacific Water Forum”, and other committees.  He was awarded the prize “Contribution to International Cooperation” by Japan Society of Civil Engineers in 2014.

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
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    Green Belts and Coastal Risk Management
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-09) Shaw, Rajib ; Noguchi, Yusuke ; Ishiwatari, Mikio
    For more than four centuries Japan has been developing forested green belts to mitigate coastal hazards such as sandstorms, salty winds, high tides, and tsunamis. Although Japan's green belts were severely damaged by the March 11 tsunami, they did reduce the impact of waves, and protected houses by capturing floating debris. Local governments are planning to reconstruct the green belts as a countermeasure against tsunamis. While local communities have traditionally taken charge of maintaining green belts, their role has been weakened because of changes in society brought about by economic development and urbanization. The people who lived on the dunes along the coast had suffered from sandstorms and tidal disasters that damaged their agricultural products and the pine forests protected their fields. Masamune allowed the people to sell wood from branches that were trimmed or had fallen to cover the expense of maintaining the green belt. The green belt became less important after the rapid economic growth of the 1970s, as other more effective Disaster Risk Management (DRM) measures were developed, and electricity and gas replaced wood as energy sources for people. The community's role in managing the green belt diminished, and governments took over its maintenance.
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    Urban Panning, Land Use Regulation, and Relocation
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-09) Onishi, Takashi ; Ishiwatari, Mikio
    Reconstruction should include a range of measures to enhance safety: disaster prevention facilities, relocation of communities to higher ground, and evacuation facilities. A community should not, however, rely too heavily on any one of these as being sufficient, because the next tsunami could be even larger than the last. Communities also need to rebuild their industries and create jobs to keep their residents from moving away. The challenge is to find enough relocation sites that are on high enough ground and large enough, and to regulate land use in lowland areas. There are two tiers of local government in Japan, prefectures and local municipalities, which are responsible for disaster response and reconstruction. Municipal governments play the most important role because they are closest to the victims and the stricken areas. The prefectural governments are grappling with the broad reconstruction issues. All reconstruction plans aim at rebuilding towns and communities that are resilient to major disasters.
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    Infrastructure Rehabilitation
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-01) Sagara, Junko ; Ishiwatari, Mikio
    Social infrastructure and public utilities are critical for quick and effective disaster response and recovery. Japan's rigorous seismic reinforcement of infrastructure has greatly reduced the effort required to restore essential facilities. Identification of priority infrastructure, legislation of financial arrangements for rehabilitation, and establishment of pre-disaster plans alongside the private sector have enabled prompt emergency response operations and facilitated a quick rehabilitation. This report gives findings; lessons; and recommendations for developing countries.
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    Learning from Megadisasters : Lessons from the Great East Japan Earthquake
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014-06-26) Ranghieri, Federica ; Ishiwatari, Mikio ; Ranghieri, Federica ; Ishiwatari, Mikio
    The successes of Japan’s disaster risk management (DRM) system as well as the ways in which that system could be improved are reflected in the lessons drawn from the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) and presented in the initial reports from the Learning from Megadisasters project. The GEJE was the first disaster ever recorded that included an earthquake, a tsunami, a nuclear power plant accident, a power supply failure, and a large-scale disruption of supply chains. Extreme disasters underscore the need for a holistic approach to DRM. Single-sector development planning cannot address the complexity of problems posed by natural hazards, let alone megadisasters, nor can such planning build resilience to threats. Faced with complex risks, Japan chose to build resilience by investing in preventative structural and nonstructural measures; nurturing a strong culture of knowledge and learning from past disasters; engaging in wise DRM regulation, legislation, and enforcement; and promoting cooperation among multiple stakeholders, between government agencies and ministries, between the private sector and the government, and among multiple levels of governance, from local to national to international. The book consolidates a set of 36 Knowledge Notes, research results of a joint study undertaken by the Government of Japan and the World Bank. These notes highlight key lessons learned in seven DRM thematic clusters—structural measures; nonstructural measures; emergency response; reconstruction planning; hazard and risk information and decision making; the economics of disaster risk, risk management, and risk financing; and recovery and relocation. Aimed at sharing Japanese cutting-edge knowledge with practitioners and decision makers, this book provides valuable guidance to other disaster-prone countries for mainstreaming DRM in their development policies and weathering their own natural disasters.