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The impacts of Japan’s earthquake, tsunami on the world economy Research Paper

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Updated: May 6th, 2019


Japan’s earthquake, tsunami was one of the most terrifying and flabbergasting incidents, impacting tremendously on the country as well as the world economy. Catastrophes have long occurred in the world in the years, the tsunami system being long identified since 1546, which history records as the first tsunami incidence. The world economy in the 21st century has become so volatile, needing a great deal of attention from all world nations.

However, various factors like the advancement in industrialization, increased urbanization, exploitation of abundant natural resources as well as the increase in agrarian revolution in the recent years have played a pivotal role in the economic revolution. Nevertheless, natural catastrophes such as the tsunamis and artificial catastrophes like terrorist activities are identified as major drawbacks to economic growth (Amadeo, Para 2).

The Japan earthquake will definitely effect on the economy of the world, either indirectly or directly. Being third in the world‘s economic production, several world sectors have to face declines while others experience some added advantages. More over, people’s social, political, and cultural realms are invaded in one way or another.

However, having been in such an experiencing status has made it possible for the inclusive population to learn a variety of lessons, which will be helpful in managing future prospects regarding earthquake management. Invention in the country’s economy and social life will also be done wisely to eradicate massive results of the tsunamis (Amadeo, Para 3).

This paper is objected at investigating into the impacts that are anticipated in the world economy as a result of the 2010 tsunami in Japan. The status of the world economy in the 21st century as well as factors attributed to its growth will also be presented.

More over, a general overview of the main impacts of the tsunami catastrophe in Japan is ideally established. The future prospects in regard to the tsunami and the world economy will be presented and application of the lessons learnt during the catastrophe in future” tsunami occurrence” management.

World economy in the 21st century and factors contributing to its growth

The 21st century world’ economy demonstrates a volatile and delicate status, requiring full physical, political, social, psychological attention from all the global players. The rampant advancements and modifications in all economic sectors are quite demanding in terms of improvement and performance.

Areas of the economy have experienced major boosts, since the realization of great invention an innovation potential in human after the Stone Age period. A number of factors are known to act as major economic drivers, which have adversely contributed to the recent hard economic situations (Habitué, Para 2).

Agrarian revolution advancement is a long-term rationale for economic boost in the last one decade. The cultivation of various indigenous and exotic crops in the modern states makes it possible for countries to experience advanced economic growth. Every country is able to examine the variety of crops that thrive appropriately in their land cultivate them and they ultimately become a rationale for trade enhancement. Japan is one of the countries where export crops have been grown, becoming a crucial source of country’s income (Hobbs and Dolan 382).

Secondly, increased rate of industrialization has overtaken the country to accompany agrarian transformations. The requirement for natural resources exploitation has made it possible for human beings to come up with ideas of powerful machinery edification in order to pave way for advanced technological age. The first age of machinery construction was as a result of the desire to improve the farming activities.

The need for improvement of all sectors of the economy including trade, transportation facilities for imports and exports, tourist activities as well as infrastructure enhancement is a long-term rationale for economic development. The world has also become an automobile hub, with Japan being on the top list in production of the best automobile products (Hobbs and Dolan 383).

On the other hand, the traditional years saw people own big pieces of land, but today the case is different. People have therefore turned to other economic activities that need their relocation to areas close to suppliers and buyers when they engage in trade activities.

The immigration and resettlement has led to development of urban centers that play an important role in the economic growth. Urbanization has also resulted in increased experience economy, since beautiful sites in towns are wonderful tourist attraction sites. Tourism also enables many people to engage in arts performance sites that are also factors that influence economic growth.

All the above sectors have enabled the improvement in technological economies, in the arising need for improved communication and technological advancements. Thus, the status of the economy is richly influenced by the violation of any of the development factors, like did the Japan tsunami that has great effects on the world economy (Hobbs and Dolan 382).

Overview of the Japans earthquake, Tsunami

The tsunamis on the broader scale are interpreted to mean tidal waves that emerge from sea-shakes. The last decades are characterized by repeated tsunamis occurrence since 1546, and have been a source of economy drag downs, both for the affected country as well as the whole world. The march 11 of 2010 saw the occurrence of the worst of all earthquake incidences in Japan. History has recorded it as the worst that occurred in the world since the inception of the tsunamis age.

The measurement of its magnitude was about 8.9 M, which hit the coast at the northeast of the country resulting in massive loss of lives as well as loss of property. It was among the most influential earthquake events that have ever hit the world, hitting the Honshu and the Sanriku highlands. The United States geological scale measured the 2010 earthquake as the strongest tidal wave that which was 7 meters.

The wave swatted towards the country and collapsed so many buildings, swept away vehicles and ultimately destroyed several industrial plants. A nuclear power plant was also made to explode by the strength of the tidal wave (Bonnet and Woltjer 125). Additionally, the wave caused the death of 28,000 people on the costal regions, and a few days were made busy in the search of carried away bodies. Many homes were seen being swayed by the strong and powerful tsunamis, leaving thousands homeless.

The Japanese aquaculture and fishing sites have long been plundered and the 2010 earthquake not sparing them either. The magnitudes of earthquakes that have long hit the country are always very high. The historical records have it that predictions have long been made concerning earthquake occurrences by geologists and other scientists, but the industrial players have also not been keen to locate important industries along the costal regions. The target areas for the earthquakes are usually those with radioactive materials.

For instance, various nuclear power plants have experienced radioactive leakage over time following earthquakes, causing fatalities and leading to subsequent closure of the plants. Some cases include the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Tokyo Electric Power Company in year 2000, the Fukui nuclear power plant in 1991, Mihama power plant in 2004, and the Kashiwazaki nuclear power plant in 2007 (Sisodia, Krishnappa, and Singh 64-65).

Key areas as ports are often plundered by the Japan’s tsunamis where many are closed permanently and others temporarily. The electricity production plants were also disrupted stopping their production for quite some time. The global provider of semiconductor stuff and paraphernalia was also not left out in the incidence in addition to the industry of the automobiles that left some centers closed down.

The Mitsubishi, Toyotas, Suzuki, and Honda centers were desperately destructed by the emergent tidal waves. The nuclear plant breach ate Fukushima was also a source of concern to the whole world, owing to the harmful radiations that are fatal to human, plant as well as animal life. The tsunamis are the most flabbergasting experiences ever faced in Japan, a third economic developing country in the globe. They are considered as economical, social, and political hazards that lead to long term and short-term impacts (Bonnet and Woltjer 125).

Impacts of Tsunami hazards

The infrequency of the Japan’s Tsunami earthquake does not exempt it from being the most terrifying and flabbergasting 2010 world incident. It took the form of a complicated phenomenon, leading to physical, economical, political, as well as psychological turmoil. The extensive property destruction in addition to massive thrashing of lives characterizes the overwhelming earthquake occurrence impacts in Japan, as the world was affected in one way or another.

The tsunami’s destructive nature created crucial impacts on the human sectors related to the society as well as economy. The past years have seen similar catastrophes occur throughout the world leading to enormous annihilation of the coastal communities according to the records in history. This raises an alarm, owing to the fact that the tsunami was also an additional catastrophe, which could not spare the lives and property of most people (Bonnet and Woltjer 125).

Japan’s coastal regions are known to be highly populated in comparison with other states coastal occupations, thus, catastrophe keeping of records is not a new idea. The massive occupation along the coastal land has seen Japan establish economic activity sites in these areas, for instance the industries that handle aquaculture as well as fishing activities. The sites experienced a heavy hit on the day of the tsunamis, eventually requiring reconstruction in order to restore normal activities.

This greatly impacted on the economic status of the country as well as that of the world that trade with the country buying their aquaculture and fishing products. The recorded history of the tsunamis is devastating, since the plundering of the economic sectors as oil plants, electronics production plants has often caused stagnation on the economic sector.

The Honshu and Sanriku highlands were tremendously plundered to an extent of requiring new construction. The requirement for reconstruction and restoration time is an economic dragging vehicle in Japan and the whole world, owing to the Japanese position in the world’s economic realms (Bonnet and Woltjer125).

The massive loss of lives acts as a cultural disorientation instrument, where the survivors have to incorporate each other in their existing cultural set ups. Many are left homeless and without their extended relatives. The tsunami is also a tool for social paralysis, a phenomenon that creates worries and anxieties in the hearts of the infected and the affected.

The physical geography was also not left in an ample condition, causing even the reconstruction of crucial sites consume more resources and time. The political realms of the country and the world are as well affected due to the diversion of all attention of global leaders to the urgent aid requirement in the reconstruction of the economic power, Japan. Nevertheless, there are a number of ways of characterizing these impacts and can be addressed with some ease (Bonnet and Woltjer 125).

Ways in which Tsunami will effect on the world economy

Japanese in addition to the world treasures will be affected on the long-term side by the tsunamis earthquakes. The world economy is often dependent on the global superpowers for excellence now, which seems negatively plundered by these powerful tidal waves.

When the factors that boost the economy of the world are plundered, long-term economic strains of the already unstable economy are expected. The industrial, urban, trade as well as agricultural sectors will be affected directly or indirectly. The world economy will be affected in either of the following ways:

The most hit is the industrial sector, entrusted with the coordination of all sectors of the economy. Industrialization entails production of automobile, nuclear, electronic, semiconductor, and heavy machine manufacture. The world economy has long relied on Japan for industrial production, a country that has been rated as a third global industrial superpower.

Japan is also known to emphasize on the quality of products they supply locally and globally. The disruption of the major producing nuclear power plants, foe instance the Fukushima one has a long-term rationale on the global economy. This means a pause in nuclear material production, leading to delays and anxieties in the political grounds.

The government therefore has to improvise other means of obtaining nuclear material before the accomplishment of the rebuilding processes. The radioactive breach of plutonium is a fatal hazard to global industrial production. The earthquake also saw four automobile plants close down either permanently or temporarily, and the world relies heavily on the Japans automobiles, being the best amongst all others.

The Toyotas Mitsubishi, Honda as well as Suzuki automobile plants were drastically plundered lading to closure. This will mean a pause or delay in the automobile production, and cause the prices fluctuate on the higher side, which will cause strains on the world governments as well as individuals in need of such items (Tsuchiya 383).

The tsunami had a great effect on the plants involved in the production of the semi conducting materials, being the country relied on heavily for production of such. This has a negative effect on the other countries if a pause on production occurs, leading to increased prices on the semi conducting items. The electric producing plant having been hit led to a stop of every form of industrial production, which all relies on electricity for major productions.

The world also relies on Japan for electronics of quality, for instance the supply of apple’s iPods as well as NAND flash facilities, mobile phones, Radios, TV’S, computers as well as internet facilities etc. These being the most recent industrial developments will hit the world’s economy. The agricultural field is no better, since the floods caused great loss of lives of people and animals. The plundering of aquaculture and fishing sites on the coastal islands is also a major drawback to the country’s agricultural sector.

The loss of lives and displacement of the survivors gives no hope to the agricultural economy, which is the main source of trade items for the country and the world. The agricultural products from Japan are highly valued across the globe, and its disruption means economic growth and development delays (Tsuchiya 378).

On the other hand, trade will experience rampant hardships since Japan may end up losing some if its trade partners when the production of export items is cut due to the effects of the tsunamis. The world’ over reliance on Japan’s exports will prove it hard before establishing another reliable source. The deviation of trader’s concentration on trade activities to the healing procedures for the trading power is a great cause of psychological tremors in many nations.

It is also evident that most of the world’s resources will be diverted towards Japan rebuilding in an urge for financial support by all Japan’s neighboring and trade partners. The world economy will therefore face a constant strain in the meeting of impulse needs caused by the tsunamis. The job market will also be heavily impacted by the occurrence of the tsunamis.

Those who lost their lives had some who were very inventive and innovative, but all is now gone. The ones surviving and were on job positions will end up losing them due to closure of the main ports, aquaculture and fishing centers, automobile industries, electric, electronic and semi conducting materials centers etc. This in turn will be a long-term rationale for negative effects on the recent increasing urbanization trends.

Furthermore, the social aspect of life will experience a down turn due to the arising problems in the job market, high prices of the existing products like oil, gas, automobile products etc. The oil prices are also a source of political tremors due to diversion of finances into the reconstruction activities, which are estimated to consume around 2.7 billion dollars by the World Bank. Nevertheless, future prospects and application of lessons learnt from tsunamis will be of great help to the world economy (Tsuchiya 378).

Future prospects and application of lessons learnt from tsunami in world economy transformations

Future tsunamis mitigation strategies application will be of great rationale to the world economy. The United States proposes that future tsunami predictions should be taken with a lot of caution by all countries, especially those with their coastal areas rampantly occupied. The prevention of a future occurrence of a tsunami is not a definite promise; however, the world economy can be safeguarded from fluctuations that emanate from effects of earthquakes.

One, Japan is warned against location of industries in earthquake prone areas. This is the reason for the world countries government coming up with a vacation strategy for those people living and farming along riverbanks. On the other hand, building in these earthquake prone areas should be built on strong foundations.

More over, location of most industrial [production plants be done away from the hazardous tsunami regions. At the same time, the word nations should unite into a common strength the will enable the third economic superpower to reposition itself as a sustainable source of the world’s economic growth (Hobbs and Dolan 186)


Japan’s earthquake, tsunami was one of the most terrifying and flabbergasting incidents, impacting tremendously on the country as well as the world economy. Horrifying impacts have been experienced at its occurrence; however, the world economy will be greatly affected by the triples of tsunami occurrences.

The industrial, agrarian and trade sectors are anticipated to experience great strains in the world economy. However, when mitigation and rebuilding strategies are appropriately implemented by the world nations, economic recovery will be quickened, paving a way for economic stabilization in the world.

Works Cited

Amadeo, Kimberly. Impact of Japan’s Earthquake on the Economy. How Does Earthquake in Japan Affect the Economy? United States, the New York Times Company. Mar 28, 2011. 01 April 2011.

Bonnet, Roger-Maurice and Woltjer, Lodewijk. Surviving 1,000 centuries: can we do it? NY: Springer books, 2008.

Habitué, Cielito. “Japan’s Tsunamis and the world economy.” Philippine Daily Inquirer, 15th march, 2011. Web.

Hobbs, Joseph and Dolan, Andrew. World Regional Geography. OH: Cengage learning, 2008.

Sisodia, Narendra S., Krishnappa, Sisodia and Singh, Priyanka. Proliferation and Emerging Nuclear Order in the Twenty-First Century. New Delhi: Academic Foundation, 2009.

Tsuchiya, Yoshito and Shutō, Nobuo. Tsunami: progress in prediction, disaster prevention, and warning. NY: Springer, 1995.

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