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Scientist predicts another major earthquake in Japan by 2017

By Krista Rogers

According to Japanese scientists, Japan might be in for another big one.

Dr Masaaki Kimura, a seismologist who reportedly predicted the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, recently appeared on Japanese TV to share his theory about the next major earthquake to strike Japan. Based on his estimates, the quake will occur by 2017 and will be of similar magnitude to 2011’s. Similarly, astronomer Yoshio Kushida continues to insist that a big quake is not too far away. Keep reading to find out more about their respective theories and which specific areas of Japan they’ve got on the radar.

For over 25 years now, legendary Japanese actor Beat Takeshi has hosted a variety show called "Beat Takeshi’s TV Tackle." The show takes the form of a panel discussion in which guests are invited to share their opinions and debate about different topics, which are typically of a political nature.

On the July 21 broadcast of the show, several prominent scientists appeared to discuss their ideas regarding future seismic activity in Japan, including the possibility of another major earthquake. The end result of their discussion? The question is not so much if, but when, another major quake will occur.

Dr Kimura, an Emeritus Professor of submarine geology and a seismologist at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa Prefecture, was eager to share his thoughts regarding the matter. His predictions are based on observations of regions in Japan where there have not yet been any major earthquakes, but where smaller ones occur frequently; he calls such regions “earthquake eyes” (地震の目). He predicted the location of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake using the same theory four years before it occurred, and although he presented his findings before the Pacific Science Congress in Japan, no one endorsed his ideas at the time.

Perhaps that’s an indication that Dr. Kimura will carry more clout this time around, because by his predictions another major quake is set to hit Japan by 2017 (his actual calculation was the year 2012, plus or minus five years). Furthermore, he anticipates that its epicenter will be in the Izu Islands, a volcanic island chain stretching south from the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture (the islands themselves are governed by Tokyo Prefecture). As for its strength, Dr. Kimura claims it will be of similar magnitude to the 2011 quake, which puts it in the 9.0 class of the moment magnitude scale used for measuring the size of earthquakes. He adds, however, that any damage caused by the quake won’t be nearly as costly as any damage caused by a resulting tsunami.

The program also invited Kushida, a self-taught astronomer, to the show to share his opinions. Kushida has gained a sort of infamy in Japan due to his frequent predictions of an impending major earthquake, which he posits by studying seismic waves. Based on past events, we’ve got reason not to take Kushida too seriously, but you never know.

Kushida has been predicting a major earthquake in Japan’s Kansai region (to the south – Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, etc); more specifically, near Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture. He says that abnormal FM rays have been evident since 2008, and the quake could hit on November 11 of this year, plus or minus a few days, at the earliest. In addition, it should be around a 7.8 on the magnitude scale.

But wait, there’s more. Dr Robert Geller, Professor of Geophysics at the University of Tokyo, was also in attendance on the show. He opposed both Kimura’s and Kushida’s ideas, asserting that they should publish scientific articles and present them before an academic committee so people can verify the legitimacy of their claims. It sure sounds like the show achieved its objective of getting in some good debate action.

Regardless of whose theory will prove to be most accurate, what it all comes down to is that there is no foolproof way to predict an earthquake, not even a major one akin to the 2011 Tohoku disaster. If you live in Japan, you can take precautionary measures by packing yourself a simple earthquake kit and signing up for the Earthquake Early Warning system issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency to get preemptive alerts on your mobile phone when an earthquake is detected. It’s a bit disconcerting when everyone’s phones start beeping in the same room, but believe us, better that than to be caught completely unawares when the tremor hits only seconds later.

If you can read Japanese, you might also be interested in visiting Kimura’s home page, where you can follow his latest work.

Sources: Livedoor News via Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Russian Scientist Predicts “Massive Earthquake” to Hit Japan by End of 2014 -- “Mt. Fuji Should Erupt by 2015”: Ryuku University Professor Emeritus -- M6.3 earthquake hits Japan, anime fans rush to tweet photos of damage to figure collections

© RocketNews24

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there is no such thing as earthquake prediction it is quackery

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Yes, quackery. Only past history, estimated stored movement and a shot in the dark. Seems like some Scientists are wanting so scare the populous with this as well as other 'guesses'.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Coming to a nuclear reactor near you:


-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Quake forecasting is still too shaky.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Coming from that idiot beat takeshi'a show , sure, I believe it.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

It is really a pity that this important issue was given to Beat Takeshi's variety show rather than the subject of a TV special predicated on science and not sensation. Yes, a program as this should be based on scientific data and not speculation and gut feelings. Kushida was brought on the BT show for entertainment's sake. He would not be welcomed on a show dedicated to serious scientific inquiry.

The problem with earthquake prediction is that if you enough predictions in an earthquake prone country like Japan you can eventually hit the jackpot. A blindfolded monkey which a machine gun will likewise eventually strike the bullseye.

All the more reason why to publish peer reviewed scientific papers and present them at dull scientific conferences rather lowbrow TV shows.

0 ( +3 / -3 )


-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Did he predict the earthquake in Tohoku beforehand?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Did he predict the earthquake in Tohoku beforehand?

He claims to have, although there is no clear evidence of this being truthful.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

When will Fuji erupt next? Or the next Ice Age?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Let's keep all those nuclear power plants offline then, Mr. Abe.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Wether the timeline is acurate or not we CAN be sure there will be more large earthquakes in Japan. Being as prepared as possible is a good idea! That includes, finishing all safely standards of nuclear plants before they are restarted.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Theonly troubling thought about a large earthquake is possibly being deep inderground in a subway when the power goes out, and you know a tsunami is coming.

But, anything coming from the BT show is a crock. The man is a mean idiot.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

more government sponsored fear mongering

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Living with the possibility of the next "big one" is and has been a way of life for years. Nothing new here.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

People simply prefer to believe what they think is less disturbing. You want to believe someone who "scientifically predicts" that no "major earthquake" will likely happen in the next fifty years, but are ready to criticize if someone "unscientifically claims" that the next one may hit Japan by 2020 insisting that there is no such thing as earthquake prediction.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Mirai Hayashi How does this benefit the government agenda? They want to get the nuclear power stations back online A.S.A.P so the prediction of another quake in the near future wouldn't be very helpful to them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It seems there is one of these kinds of predictions a couple of times a year. They didn't predict the last big quake, so it's hard to believe they can predict any future ones.

I have my own prediction:

Japan will have more earthquakes before 2017!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Total quackery... "Give or take 5 years"... "But no one would endorse him"


If it happens tomorrow... He will say, "see? I told you so"

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I hope he's not right.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"We predict another major earthquake will hit Japan soon. We would like to give more details, but we need more research funding."

"Oh sorry, but the Man-Made Global Climate Change fear mongers were here last week. Cleaned us right out."

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This is worse than quackery. These are nobody scientists trying to get famous by making a "prediction" that anybody could predict.

Wow, there "may" be Earthquake "sometime" in the next three years of "similar" magnitude than the last one.

In Japan.

Wow, that's cutting edge science there....

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

it is a fact that Japan is vulnerable to earthquake, but before such predictions, facts and findings should be presented before academics and professionals. because such rumors can create anxiety and concerns. such discussions also create many scary questions, such as, the number of deaths, the numbers of injuries, the scale of damage, state of the nuclear plants, lack of resources and lack of labor for rehabilitation, preparations of Olympics and so on, Any way Japan should always remain prepare and alert for natural disasters.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When the article said, in paragraph 2, "Keep reading to find out more about their respective theories and which specific areas of Japan they’ve got on the radar." I stopped reading.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Guys, it's not 'if', it's when. I think we can all agree that Japan WILL face similar or worse quakes than that of 2011, and the less prepared for it the worse of everyone will be. To all those bashing Kimura, he DID predict the 2011 quake and where it would happen, and warned people but was ignored. I'm not sure if it was him or another scientist who warned TEPCO about the Fukushima plant on various occasions leading up to the 2011 quake/tsunami, but he was snubbed with prejudice by the company, who later said they had had no warning and no idea such a thing could happen (and then who later said they had a behind closed doors meeting three days before the quake, suggesting the dangers, but of course didn't record any minutes of the meeting!). Now, I don't believe he accurately predicted exactly WHEN it would happen (ie. March 11th, 2011), but he pintpointed where and said, "soon". Kushida, on the other hand, just seems to be pulling his ideas out of his butt based on the fact that, yes, some day in the future there will be a big one in Kansai.

Mirai: This isn't government fear-mongering. The last thing they want is people hesitating in their support to turn on the NPPs.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Japan's home islands sit on one of the most active parts of the so-called Ring of Fire. (It's not an coincidence that a lot of onsen sites exist in the country.) As such, the country is extremely earthquake-prone, and the possibility of an earthquake as powerful as the 2011 and 1923 quakes happening within the next 20 years is very real.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

To all those bashing Kimura, he DID predict the 2011 quake and where it would happen, and warned people but was ignored


Nope. He's way off and his prior prediction never came. He's next prediction is MT. Fuji erruption by 2015.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I predict more predictions before 2017.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The longer a quake to be delayed, the more disastrous might occured! Earthquake in the Pacific rim is inevitable!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Well duh! Predicting large earthquake will happen in Japan.................well DUH!

If there is a SURE THING, its that large earthquakes WILL happen in Japan........DUH!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I predict his GUESS is just as good as mine and anyone else I predict we will have rain between now and 2017! Lots of rain fall!'

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"Give or take 5 years"

He must also be a psychic too because that is one of their fraudulent ploys.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This article contains three alarming headlines, this headline and two articles linked to by this article: "Scientist predicts another major earthquake in Japan by 2017" "Russian Scientist Predicts “Massive Earthquake” to Hit Japan by End of 2014" "“Mt. Fuji Should Erupt by 2015”: Ryuku University Professor Emeritus"

Lots of scientists are clearly scrambling to capture media attention, and generate grant income, predicting the unpredictable. If it turns out they are correct, they win big. Otherwise, the media forgets these spurious predictions, and no harm befalls their professional reputations.

Obviously, these earthquake/tsunami/eruption events are inevitable, but I think forecasts predicting when they will strike made by a monkey with a dart board would be as reliable as those of the media-savvy 'experts.'

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wait, at first it was a prediction within the next 30 years, now it's a prediction within the next three years. That's quite a bit of a jump! I need more reliable forecast to do my job as a bomb defuser.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It may be possible to forecast a major earthquake within a year or months of its happening. But short-term predictions, within a day or few hours, would be far more difficult to achieve. While many seismologists think prediction is a will-o-the-wisp, the Japanese are more optimistic that it can, and needs, to be done.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The BIG ONE is long overdue, we all know. Why on earth IOC selected Tokyo for hosting the 2020 Olympic games?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

In the real world of seismology, quake prediction is still a dream however there are some experts that believe earthquake prediction is possible because of statistical relations between earthquakes, weather-related phenomena, magmatic movement, geomagnetic filed changes, and other geophysical events. Also simple research will show that anomalous animal and human behavior, strange clouds in the sky, shifts in land elevation, sudden changes in natural well levels, spikes in atmospheric methane levels, unusual geyser eruptions, changes in sky color, ground surface electrical filed disturbances, and even photographic evidence of earthquake glows from space are all harbingers of future quakes. Therefore by using any, all or any combination of the above methods could, at the very least, give warning of impending disaster.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If you wake up every morning and predict a disaster is coming tomorrow, eventually you will be proven correct. Has nothing to do with skill, just the fact you have bleated the same thing for years on end.

Sounds like some of these predictor types have been wearing their tin foil hats a little too tight.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It is always safe to predict another big earthquake in Japan. You can´t go wrong with that. The devil is in the details. How big is "big"? And when is when? Plus minus 5 years? Sure, I go with that. Can I call myself an earthquake expert?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Beijing (AFP) - At least 175 people were killed and 1,400 injured after a strong earthquake hit southwest China's mountainous Yunnan province Sunday, bringing homes crashing to the ground and sparking a massive relief operation.


Anyone can predict there will be earthquake in Japan. No need to get help from somebody else. Every year, there are earthquakes in Japan. It is telling like there will be snowfall in Hokkaido next year or it will be typhoon in Kyushu next year.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

why is an astrologer being equated with a seismologist? That cheapens the seismologist's achievement of warning about the 2011 earthquake.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Certainly when it hits, hundreds of thousands of people over 65 will be particularly at high risk.I think many are thinking that lots of help from the government will be coming to them quickly... sad. Be prepared!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A scientist who puts ads on his personal website. Should tell you something.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan should make less high rise building,no nuclear energy power plant to avoid Fukushima.Daily earthquake drill that there are less victims.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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