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Building regulation has a crucial role to play in reducing disaster risk. Building codes can lessen vulnerability by specifying adequate standards for exposure by guiding development away from the most hazard-prone areas. disaster impacts disproportionately. Between 1980 and 2012, 80 percent of lives lost in disasters were in middle- and low-income countries (UNISDR 2015). By incrementally raising building standards and working developing countries can save lives, protect housing and other assets, and contribute to an overall safer built environment. This proactive approach to disaster risk management—one that seeks to reduce underlying in keeping with the priorities of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, which explicitly recognizes building regulation as a key means of mitigating disaster risk. Japan’s experience in increasing the safety of the built environment through an incremental, context-specific approach to building regulation offers key lessons for developing countries seeking to mitigate disaster risk.