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Cost of damage caused by natural disasters in Japan 2008-2017

In 2017, the cost of damage caused by natural disasters occurring in Japan amounted to around 599 billion Japanese yen. Since the country is situated along the Ring of Fire, an area where several tectonic plates meet, it is vulnerable to natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.

Natural disasters in Japan

In recent years, Japan ranked among the countries with the most natural disasters, with flooded houses accounting for the highest number of damage situations in natural disasters. Flooding is often caused by typhoons, which regularly hit Japan. Most typhoons approach the archipelago between July and October, during the peak of the typhoon season. The tropical cyclones develop over the Pacific Ocean and are likely to approach Japan's southernmost prefecture Okinawa. Since the number of typhoons has increased in recent years, the amount of damage caused by floods grew as well.

The triple disaster in 2011

The highest cost of damage caused by natural disasters, as well as the highest number of people killed by natural disasters in Japan, was recorded in 2011. That year, the Great East Japan Earthquake, also referred to as the Tohoku earthquake, took place. It was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Japan and led to meltdowns at three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima prefecture. The damage caused by surging water from the resulting tsunami was more destructive than the earthquake itself, as it destroyed many Japanese cities and led to the death of around 19.7 thousand people.

Cost of damage caused by natural disasters in Japan from 2008 to 2017

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Release date

September 2020



Survey time period

2008 to 2017

Supplementary notes

*The source states, that among damages caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake, those which are in the process of confirmation or which are unclear are not counted.
Values have been rounded.
1 Japanese yen equals 0.0092 U.S. dollars or 0.0083 euros as of December 2019.

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