Complex Risk Governance Policy Research Unit

Established : Apr. 2, 2012

Photo by AP/AFLO



Modern societies are faced with many different kinds of risk. Careful and balanced judgment, taking into consideration the risk versus risk trade-offs surrounding a specific situation, is required since one measure for reducing a certain risk can increase other types of risks.

These kinds of complex risks and dilemmas have been evident in the measures taken in the aftermath of the Great Japan Eastern Earthquake. Here a natural disaster led to a nuclear power-plant disaster and then a subsequent risk posed by radionuclides in food.

The complex risk governance issue is the key problem that must be addressed in terms of decision making and management in public policy. The basic underlying questions are, a) how we can achieve transparent decision making, and b) how we can consider the distribution of resources based on a birds-eye view of the risk mapping.

Our project aims at exploring the issues of how we can utilize expert practice and advice from different disciplines; how to stimulate the debate on social decision making; and, how to enforce and construct such a decision-making mechanism.


With the above mentioned objectives in mind, our institute will explore an inclusive policy research process, combining the experience and academic inputs from the natural sciences.

The research topics include:

  1. The risk management mechanism and comparative inter-area study in the fields of nuclear energy policy, natural disaster, health risk, financial risk, etc.
  2. Mapping and visualization of the risk relationships.

We will identify the challenge and intend to propose a recommendation for social decision making and management directed towards complex risk governance.


  • Hideaki Shiroyama (Vice Director and Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute / Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy / Graduate Schools for Law and Politics)


  • Taketoshi Taniguchi (Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute)
  • Atsuo Kishimoto (Professor, Institute for Datability Science, Osaka University / Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy)
  • Yee Kuang Heng (Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy)
  • Makiko Matsuo (Project Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy)
  • Kyoko Ohta (Lecturer, Faculty of Law and Letters, Ehime University / Visiting Researcher, Graduate School of Public Policy, the University of Tokyo)