Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Second Department


Reader 1

Sumita Pahwa

Reader 2

Lynne K. Miyake

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2016 Muxuan Wang


March 11, 2011 Earthquake in Japan and 2005 Hurricane Katrina both caused significant destruction and were both viewed as examples of government failures in natural disaster management. One year after the disasters, both countries enacted several policy reforms in response to their failures. However, while in the U.S, the central government's emergency power was strengthened, the DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan)'s government carried out reforms to strengthen the local governments. On the other hand, the other prominent political party in Japan, the LDP (Liberal Democratic Party), argued for more centralized power. How did these parties take different lessons from the natural disasters? This paper will first analyze the factors that led to government failures in the disaster relief period, and then evaluate the most influential factors that led to the policy reforms. Eventually, we would be able to figure out the exact factors that led the U.S, the DPJ and the LDP to their conclusions.