This chapter argues that a failure to agree on a definition, scale, timeframe and financial structure for resilience can weaken internal mechanisms for absorbing shocks and lead to greater disruption. It briefly reviews the case and the context of Japan, in particular, the characteristics that are most salient in terms of recovery. Japan has had many successes, particularly in the response but also in the recovery. In the case of Japanese reconstruction after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the vagueness of the goal for resilient post-disaster reconstruction has caused serious delays and disillusionment, despite a well-funded effort apparently based on international best practices. Given that the Japanese government's reconstruction plans prioritize rebuilding communities rather than just physical assets, mitigation projects that delay or further disrupt community recovery may be counter-productive to the stated national-level goal. A participatory decision-making process that seeks consensus from divided communities for problems without any clear solutions is time-consuming.