Conduct of the ITST-Japan after the March 11, 2011, tsunami in northern Japan, was built to augment the strong national post-tsunami survey arrangements and complicated by the nuclear safety issue. In this situation, it was announced through the ITIC Tsunami Bulletin Board that Japan requested that no international teams visit until later April, respecting search-and-rescue operations due to the high number of casualties (25,000+), difficult logistics, and knowing that many Japanese scientists were extremely busy as part of the national response. ITST-Japan also directly informed the US National Science Foundation (NSF) in March, and through its Dear Colleague Letter in April, NSF strongly suggested coordination with UNESCO/NOAA (ITIC) when funded. It was envisioned that later surveys, such as those of ITST-Japan, should ideally concentrate on detailed investigations of specific locations or topics in collaboration with Japanese colleagues who were part of the national data collection efforts.
For ITST-Japan, UNESCO/IOC and ITIC coordinated Kazuhisa Goto (Chiba Institute of Technology) and the Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE) , following the advice of the Japan Post-Tsunami Surveys Group. This group, representing more than 200 Japanese tsunami researchers and engineers (Secretary-General Tomoyuki Takahashi, Kansai University), provided guidance to international scientists interested in conducting post-tsunami surveys of Japan.