There are 108 active volcanoes in Japan, which repeat eruptions. Even large-scale volcanic activities which require the evacuation of local residents occur every five years on average. Modern volcanic observation network has allowed us to almost certainly catch the signs of a large-scale eruption beforehand. However, currently it is difficult to predict the style and the duration of an eruption as well as the shift of volcanic activities beforehand.
Accurately grasping the state of volcanic activities and having a clear picture of the shift in activities is necessary in order to reduce the damage of an eruption. Therefore, the Coordinating Committee for Prediction of Volcanic Eruptions will collect detailed observational data and analyze volcanic activities at the brink of an eruption. AIST is conducting surveys on eruption products, volcanic gases and of ground deformation in cooperation with the Japan Meteorological Agency, Universities, and related research institutes. Cooperation from many researchers in various fields is necessary in order to conduct urgent and concentrated surveys and research when an eruption occurs. Thus, emergency observation task force team may be created temporarily, for example AIST set up the Emergency Countermeasure Headquarters, in which our vice chairman was assigned as the chief, and nearly 40 staff cooperated when the eruption occurred on Miyake-jima.