Disaster and Crime: Conditions and Characteristics of Crime After the Great Hanshin-Awaji Greath Earthquake

Hideyo Matsubara, Kwansei Gakuin University

It is general recognition that the social order right after Hanshin-Awaji Great Earthquake was well maintained beyond anticipation. This report agrees to such recognition. Furthermore, I will examine the reason why social order was kept good in the stricken area. The data to be used is questionnaire surveys and interviews with community leaders of the areas. The perspective to be applied is 'routine activity theory' that explains criminal behavior as rational choice according to the situation on the extension of everyday activities. However, I will apply this framework to subjective matters of recognition of a person concerned, and utilize it in this report, although this theory mainly treats objective phenomena. How do people act at the time of a disaster? What causes the increase or decrease in the number of crimes?

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Updated 05/20/2006