• Open Access

Japan Medical Association's Actions in the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake



A complex disaster struck eastern Japan on March 11, 2011. The Great Eastern Japan Earthquake consisted of a large-scale earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident and resulted in extensive damage and loss of life. In response to the disaster, the Japan Medical Association (JMA) initiated the dispatch of disaster medical teams, JMATs, to affected areas through prefectural medical associations. JMA relief efforts did not end with coordinating JMAT operations: autopsies, medical supply transport, and advocating for healthcare for evacuees and survivors were other major efforts of the JMA following “3.11”. The JMA's healthcare support in Fukushima and other prefectures was unique and effective. However, the JMA recognizes the need for continued planning and preparation for disaster response and relief because of Japan's high risk for future disasters. Thus, current priorities of the JMA are the restoration of the healthcare system in disaster-affected areas and preparation for future disasters.