In 1951, the Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI) was established to study the physical mechanisms of natural hazards and to search for ways to mitigate disasters. Current priorities include enhancing the fundamental understanding of natural hazards, development of integrated methodologies for disaster reduction and the education of students in related fields. The DPRI pursues research in the fields of natural science, engineering, and social sciences, with topics that span local and global scales. The institute also forms interdisciplinary groups to implement practical projects in response to the needs of the global society. With a 63-year heritage of scientific achievements and accumulated knowledge, the institute is dedicated to leading increasingly important research efforts in natural disaster reduction throughout both Japan and the world.