Social Media for Enhancing Civil Society and Disaster Relief: Usage by Local Municipalities in Japan

  • Muneo Kaigo University of Tsukuba, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Leslie Tkach-Kawasaki University of Tsukuba, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Keywords: Japan, municipalities, civil society, social networking services, natural disasters

Abstract

This main focus of this article is a case study that analyzes social media usage by a local municipality in Japan, and on the possibilities and problems of complementary communication channels such as social networking services for promoting civil society activities and linking civil society organizations. We examine how in the past, Japanese municipalities have been using social media and social networking services for enhancing civil society and how social networking services are a potential tool that can provide vital information and connect citizens, municipal governments and civil society. This article focuses on the first phase of the Tsukuba Civic Activities Cyber-Square [Tsukuba Shimin Katsudō no Hiroba] on Facebook Experiment in 2012 and how it functioned during and after the May 6, 2012 Tsukuba city tornado disaster for the subsequent relief and support activities during May 2012.

Author Biographies

Muneo Kaigo, University of Tsukuba, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Associate professor in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Tsukuba in Japan.
Leslie Tkach-Kawasaki, University of Tsukuba, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Associate professor in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Tsukuba in Japan.
Published
2015-10-23
How to Cite
Kaigo, M., & Tkach-Kawasaki, L. (2015). Social Media for Enhancing Civil Society and Disaster Relief: Usage by Local Municipalities in Japan. JeDEM - EJournal of EDemocracy and Open Government, 7(1), 1-22. https://doi.org/10.29379/jedem.v7i1.371
Section
Special Issue: Research Papers