In recent years, large-scale natural disasters and environmental changes have occurred at home and abroad, and responding to them has become an urgent task for society. Tokai University’s Kumamoto and Aso Campuses were severely damaged by the April 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake. Due to this background, awareness of disaster monitoring, safety, and security has been growing throughout the university.
Tokai University established the Research and Information Center in 1974 and has been working on disaster and environmental monitoring using earth observation satellite data. In 1986, the Space Information Center was established as the university’s first satellite data receiving station to receive and process data from various earth observation satellites. It has conducted various joint research endeavors with many research institutes inside and outside Japan and produced many results, and it has always led research in this field in Japan. In addition, in 2015, the university launched the Safety and Security Project, an initiative that aims to build a research center to create a safe and secure society. The project has made significant achievements in research fields including earthquake prediction, volcano monitoring, tsunami flooding simulation, disaster mitigation measures using social media, and disaster-resistant communications.
The project’s main objective is to construct a glocal monitoring system to monitor natural disasters and environmental changes by organically linking global information from satellite observations and other sources with local information provided by local residents via social media. In addition, Tokai University will take advantage of its ability to comprehensively cover various fields to conduct social science analysis and disseminate the information both domestically and internationally. Disaster and environmental change monitoring is a common issue worldwide. This project will promote the construction of the system while actively cooperating with overseas universities and research institutes.
It also takes into account not only the opinions of disaster victims and neighboring local governments, but also the experiences of Tokai University, which suffered tremendous damage in the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake. The aim is to brand Tokai University as a university that contributes to the safety and security of international and local communities through the construction of the glocal monitoring system that we truly need in times of disaster.