1st Edition

Dams in Japan Past, Present and Future

Edited By Japan Commission on Large Dams - JCOLD Copyright 2009
    256 Pages
    by CRC Press

    256 Pages
    by CRC Press

    Overview of Japan’s long water history, by the Japanese Commission on large dams. Starting from the 7th century, when irrigation ponds were first constructed for paddy cropping, until the beginning of the 21st century. Elaborates on various roles of dams: water supply, power generation and flood control. Moreover, tries to clarify the negative impacts of dams on the natural environment and local societies, as well as extensive efforts made to minimize these impacts. Includes appendices with location and characteristics of main dams, administrative organs, river management system and water resources development river systems and facilities to offer the full picture. Richly-illustrated. Intended for dam and water resources professionals.


    Chapter 1. Introduction

    • 1.1 Circumstances Surrounding Dams* and the Aims of This Work
    • 1.2 A Short History of Japan
    • 1.3 Outline of the History of Dams in Japan
    • 1.4 Characteristics of National Land and Dams in Japan
    • 1.5 WCD Report and Dams in Japan
    • 1.6 Outline of This Work.

    Chapter 2. Roles Played by Dams as Seen in the History of Water Use in Japan

    • 2.1 The Development of Irrigation and Irrigation Dams
    • 2.2 The Growth of Modern Cities and Dams for Municipal Water
    • 2.3 Hydropower Dams that have Supported the Growth of Modern Industry
    • 2.4 Postwar Rehabilitation and Multi-Purpose Dams – the Appearance of Comprehensive River Development Dams
    • 2.5 Dams that have Supported the Concentration of Population and Industry in Large Cities

    Chapter 3. Environmental and Social Impacts of Dams and Responses to These Impacts.

    • 3.1 Dam Projects and Social Conflict
    • 3.2 Impacts on the Social Condition in Reservoir Areas and Responses to Such Impacts
    • 3.3 Impacts on the River Environment and Measures against These Impacts
    • 3.4 Impacts on Habitats of Living Organisms and Measures against These Impacts
    • 3.5 A Reflection of the Views of Citizens concerning Dam Projects and an Introduction to the Project Evaluation System

    Chapter 4. Roles of Dams: the Future

    • 4.1 Changes in the Social Conditions surrounding Dams
    • 4.2 Roles of Future Dams
    • 4.3 Future Roles of Dams
    • 4.4 Sustainable Use of Dams so They Can Continue to Fulfill Their Roles Reliably in the Future
    • 4.5 Roles of People Involved in Dams

    Chapter 5. Summation

    • Appendix 1. Outline of the National Administrative Organs of Japan
    • Appendix 2. The Basic Framework of River Management System in Japan
    • Appendix 3. Outline of the Existing Dams in Japan
    • Appendix 4. Outline of Water Resources Development River Systems and Facilities



    In 1931, three years after the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) was established, Japan joined ICOLD as the Japan National Committee on Large Dams. In 1944, Japan withdrew from ICOLD during the World War II, then rejoined in March 1953. On September 13, 1962, the Japan Commission on Large Dams (JCOLD) was established, and in January 2012, it became a General Incorporated Association.

    This documentary prepared by the Japan Commission on Dams (JCOLD) presents an excellent chronological historical record of dams in Japan, the current role of their dams and Japan’s vision of the role that dams will play in the future.

    This book is recommended reading for water resources planners, dam engineers, stakeholders for water projects and the public.

    Arthur H. Walz, Jr., Former Vice President: International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD)