When a massive earthquake hit the western part of Japan more than a decade ago, a highway collapsed, railroads and telephone lines were partially cut, and many buildings were toppled.

The 1995 7.3-magnitude Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake wreaked havoc on Hyogo Prefecture. In the biggest natural disaster in postwar Japan, 6,434 people lost their lives — some crushed to death under buildings, others dying in the fires caused by the temblor.

The earthquake changed people's minds in Japan, and Italy, which has highly advanced quake-resistant technologies, should do more to disseminate these technologies, said Nagahide Kani, executive director of the Japan Society of Seismic Isolation, an industry group engaged in developing quake-resistant technology.