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Most of Japan’s large cities are located in deltas, which are vulnerable to floods and storm surges. Japan’s prosperity is largely due to flood prevention measures, which have been in place for centuries. However, climate change is creating a new challenge with intensive and localised torrential rains occurring frequently.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) is strengthening measures to prevent water-related disasters, using both structural and non-structural measures, and mobilising technologies and available knowledge. For comparatively frequent floods and storm surges, Japan will continue to steadily promote structural measures, while non-structural measures to support safe evacuation are more focused on to address hazards less frequent but with maximum scales. Our challenge is to achieve the protection of both lives and assets, with the best combination of structural and non-structural measures.
The Japanese Water Cycle Policy has been passed into law and calls for a policy headquarters on water-related issues at the Cabinet level, tasked with writing a national water strategy. International collaboration is an important part of the policy and environment groups and other nongovernmental organisations are strongly encouraged to participate.