Societal Comparisons of Organizational Response to Earthquake Predictions: Japan vs the United States

November 1983 (VOL. 1, NO. 3)

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The conclusion reached in this research is that there are both similarities and differences in the response of organizations to scientifically credible earthquake predictions in Japan versus the United States. In general, Japanese organizations would cast an earthquake prediction as an \\"opportunity\\", while organizations in the United States would view a prediction as an \\"imposition\\" until they are convinced that they are at risk. Recent and continuing changes in policies and programs in the United States may well reduce this difference between the two nations. Specifically, findings revealed that resources were necessary for prediction-related mitigation and preparedness actions by all organizations; having a reason to respond to a prediction--or risk--was necessary for organizations in the United States, but not so in Japan where useful response is likely regardless of risk; finally, having the knowledge to act in response to a prediction was necessary for government organizations, but not for corporations who could more readily, perhaps, buy the needed expertise.