Japan Seciety of Disaster Nursing


Message from the President

The Japan Society of Disaster Nursing (JSDN), established in Kobe in 1998 for the purpose of "promoting the systematization of the knowledge and practice of disaster nursing, and contributing to the lives and health of people through the development of disaster nursing", changed its officers and embarked on a new challenge at its General Assembly on September 9, 2011.

The March 11, 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of T?hoku had a recorded magnitude (Mw) of 9.0 and was the largest earthquake ever observed in Japan. The earthquake and its subsequent tsunami, which damaged the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex of the Tokyo Electric Power Company and caused a nuclear accident that led to great devastation, is known as the Great East Japan Earthquake. This was an unprecedented disaster in which 5,843 people died, 3,469 people were injured (as of December 12, 2011), over 350,000 buildings were completely or partially destroyed, and over 400,000 people fled as refugees at its peak time, and it shook the foundation of the Japanese archipelago in which we live. When considering the grief and anguish beyond description of those in the affected areas immediately after the earthquake, and when considering their continuing hardships of living, we think in vain for words of encouragement. At the same time, every time I see the forward-looking serious expressions and smiles of those who are continuing to support people in the disaster area I am moved to the bottom of my heart. Time flows without mercy and soon one year will have passed since the disaster, but our society hopes to be able to do our utmost to help and I along with all our members will not forget the cries of the silent minority that are not reported, the single-minded pursuit of daily life in the midst of hardships, or the inextinguishable pain that so many still experience.

The Japan Society of Disaster Nursing was established based on the experience of nursing support activities in the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system that occurred in 1995. At a symposium marking the 10th year of those events and when I was ending my term as president of the society, I looked back at those 10 years and summarized that "in the field of nursing, the awareness of disasters has increased, the number of people who work on disaster nursing has increased, a network has been developed at home and abroad, and the systematization of disaster nursing has began based on what we have learned from experience". In addition, I raised the following nine matters as challenges for the future of the Society that the next officer (President Satoru Yamada) should address.

1. Increase predictability through the accumulation of data
2. Anticipate both foreseeable and unforeseeable disasters
3. Verify experimental activities and pioneering activities
4. Explore the challenges of disaster ethics
5. Work to provide news and information
6. Spread disaster nursing education
7. Develop and utilize disaster nursing professionals
8. Create an international network
9. Produce policy proposals

Over the course of the next three years, several disasters occurred in Japan, and the Society worked vigorously to address these challenges. And then we encountered the unpredicted Great East Japan Earthquake.

The Japan Society of Disaster Nursing under former president Satoru Yamada in cooperation with members of the advance party quickly commenced professional activities from the day the earthquake occurred. The ever changing needs of nurses concerning those in the disaster area have been published on this website. We also initiated fundraising activities and collected donations from many people at home and abroad. Because of the ever changing needs of the people in the affected areas, we also conducted follow-up surveys. We salute the members of the advance teams and our former officers. Such a project team consisting of advance parties and a fund raising system is unusual for a society, but it was utilized perfectly and there are many indications that it will develop even further.

In addition, on September 9 and 10 our 13th Annual Meeting (Chaired by Kikuko Urata) was held in Omiya Sonic City and the fact that the Society has become both substantial and innovative was strongly reflected in the various nursing support activities that occurred during the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Furthermore, we are planning and operating new initiatives such as "The Eastern Japan Disaster Nursing Project" based on all the donations that we received from so many people. It is estimated that the impact of this earthquake will be extremely long lasting. We would like to continue to explore what nursing can do during the process of recovery and reconstruction.

Another network activity project team is investigating the areas of Nara and Wakayama affected by typhoon No. 12. We will also continue our project to refine nursing disaster terminology.

I think that the experience learned after such a great disaster as we recently experienced has prompted a major transformation of our Society. In eastern Japan and especially in the Tohoku region where this great disaster occurred, I realized that there are fewer individual members and also organizational members of the Society. I think it is necessary to further strengthen our national and international network by forming partnerships to conduct research on support activities throughout our network of members. Because of our recent experiences a new network was created through cooperation with the Japan Association of Nursing Academies. Many nursing societies have conducted a variety of support activities, and our former president Yamada gave two presentations a symposium we cosponsored with The Science Council of Japan's Subcommittee on Nursing.

This year the 2nd Research Conference of the World Society of Disaster Nursing will be held for two days in Wales from August 23.
I am looking forward to meet to learn about disaster nursing on a global scale along with all of you now and in the future.

Hiroko Minami, President
January, 2012

Heightened awareness of disaster, an increase in the number of those involved in disaster nursing, the development of a network at home and abroad, the systematization of disaster nursing began while learning through experience!

Disaster Nursing
The Main Developments of the Past 10 Years
● The definition of the term "Disaster Nursing"
● Methods of disaster nursing support during disaster cycles
● Disaster nursing-related terminology have been increasing
● Nurses are increasingly involved in disasters
● Gaining a place in nursing education
● A disaster nursing network has developed
● International exchange has become more active
● Disaster nursing research has been promoted