WIT Press

Infrastructure Maintenance And Disaster Prevention Measures On Isolated Islands: The Case Of The Izu Islands Near Tokyo


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






Page Range

185 - 195




289 kb


H. Gotoh, Y. Maeno, M. Takezawa, T. Murata & N. Takahashi


Of the 6,852 islands that make up the Japanese archipelago, 261 are inhabited but there are isolated islands with a total population of approximately 434,000 people scattered over an area of 5,255 km2. In the five years from 2001 to 2005, the population of these islands decreased by 8.3% compared to a 0.7% increase in the national population. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government administers some of these, including the Izu Islands. The Izu group consists of nine separate islands with a total population of 24,645 people spread over 296.56 km2 (2009). The largest island is Izu Oshima (population: 8,346, area: 91.06 km2) while the smallest is Toshima (population: 292, area: 4.12 km2). The primary industries in the Izu Islands are fisheries, agriculture, and tourism, although the mix varies between islands. Communication between the various islands is by cargopassenger boat, jetfoil and aircraft. While each island has at least one harbor, only five have airports: Izu Oshima, Niijima, Kozujima, Miyakejima and Hachijojima. The smaller islands can be reached by helicopter. Several types of natural disasters, including tsunamis, storm and flood damage, and volcanic eruptions threaten the region. Because of the potential losses that could be suffered in such disasters, the Tokyo metropolitan government has developed disaster prevention and response measures for the Izu Islands. These include supplying residents with hazard maps and evacuation guidance, radios, and simple signs, as well as developing a transport system for emergency supplies. This paper discusses present conditions, and future issues with regard to disaster prevention and response in the Izu island group. Keywords: isolated island, population, living standard, disaster prevention measures.


isolated island, population, living standard, disaster prevention measures