Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, regional governments have been reviewing their disaster plans and enhancing preparations, from boosting buildings' quake resistance to increasing their stockpiles of emergency food and blankets for immediate use.

While taking such measures is undoubtedly crucial, Toshitaka Katada, a civil engineering professor at Gunma University, believes the most important element that needs to be addressed is disaster survival education.

"Many disaster measures taken by governments seem to center on supporting people who managed to survive, but the priority of disaster prevention is to ensure that no one dies. To accomplish that, educating children and nurturing the ability of people to save their own lives is necessary," said Katada, a disaster prevention specialist.