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Thursday, August 23, 2018, 11:00 - 12:00

Takashi Ohkuma, the Head of Niigata City Lagoon Environment Research Institute,
Professor Emeritus of Niigata University
Yukiko Kada, Former President of the Japanese Association for Environmental Sociology, Former Governor of Shiga Prefecture

Language: Speech and Q&A will be in Japanese with English interpretation

The summer of 2018 will long be remembered for torrential rains that caused extensive flooding and a series of landslides across a large part of western Japan. More than 200 people have been confirmed dead and others are still listed as missing. The town of Umaji, Kochi Prefecture, reported more than 119 cm of rain in the space of 18 hours in mid-July.

Experts believe lives could have been saved and damage to homes, communities, industry and agricultural land could have been avoided through better management of the rivers and waterways in the affected regions.

Takashi Ohkuma, a Niigata University professor specializing in natural disasters who analyzed disaster-hit Niigata in 2004, and a Kyoto University expert on river engineering collaborated on a study of the impact of heavy rainfall in western Japan this summer and concluded that the authorities had relied far too heavily on dams to control flooding rivers. Instead, they believe, greater emphasis should have been placed on the management of river basins, reinforcing dikes and the creation of additional infrastructure to control river courses.

The professor will be joined at the FCCJ by Yukiko Kada, a former president of the Japanese Association for Environmental Sociology and a former governor of Shiga Prefecture, who established Japan's first watershed flood-control ordinance.

The presentation will also include video footage of the Mabicho district of Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, which was among the worst-affected areas during this summer's disaster.

Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation.

Professional Activities Committee

 ohkumakada

 Takashi Ohkuma                          Yukiko Kada

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