Jean-Marc Takaki, Director, Association for the protection of Amami's forest, rivers and coastal ecosystems

11:00-12:00 Tuesday, January 18, 2022
(The speech and Q & A will be in English.)

"Saving Japan from Seawalls" 

Katoku beach, on the sub-tropical island of Amami-Oshima in the Ryukyu chain of islands, is famous for its stunning scenery, rich ecosystem, and world-class surfing. It is home to the critically endangered leatherback sea turtle and other rare animals. So, a plan to cover most of the beach with a 6.5-meter, 180-meter seawall has infuriated many locals and environmental activists. They the seawall will cause irreversible environmental damage and destroy the surfing beach.  

The fight to save the beach has become symbolic of the controversy over Japan's seawall program, which has accelerated since the 2011 Tohoku disaster. While the government says these sea defenses will help protect coastal communities, campaigners like Jean-Marc Takaki say they cause depopulation and the death of thriving coastal communities. "Will Japan continue to concrete its entire coastline despite the universal knowledge that its coastal management policies have long been phased out in other countries, because they cause more harm than good? Is the goal to destroy natural beach processes and resilience so as to require the endless continuation of public works projects?" he asks.

Takaki is a resident of Amami Ōshima and a long-term campaigner to conserve the beach. He has agreed to come to the FCCJ and explain why he and many experts in their fields consider the Katoku case crucial for the future of Japan's coastal management policies, environmental security and justice.

How to attend
Please register at with your name, the name of your media outlet, and FCCJ membership number. Due to space restrictions attendance will be limited. Doors open 15 minutes before the event. Please sign in, giving your name and contact details at the reception, and have your temperature taken before proceeding. 

How to watch online:  
Livestreaming of the press events will be available and video of this event will be uploaded to our FCCJ YouTube channel. 

How to ask questions:
Members watching the event online can submit questions for the speakers in advance using this submission form (English only).

TV crew: Please make a reservation at Doors open for TV crews only at 30 minutes before the event. There will be five positions available for livestreaming. 

Professional Activities Committee.