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Japan - Essay Example

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Japan

Today the process of reclamation of land from the sea is going on but it is faced with resistance from environmentalists that argue the bay is more important as an ecological buffer for both the land and the commercial fishing industry. Future land development is this area will now have to deal with balancing environmental concerns and the need for space in the face of limited supply on Japan's Island nation. This paper will explore the alternative ways in which Land reclamation project in Tokyo bay could proceed in light of all the competing motivations that exist. After introducing the history of land reclamation in Tokyo Bay it will look at the the way in which construction would ideally have to be implemented using the ideas of famed Japanese Architect Kenzo Tange. It will look at the arguments for conservation projects in the area that would perhaps be more attractive to the Japanese population than monolithic construction projects and it will touch on the possibility of using floating structures to expand construction. In exploring these alternatives this paper will place the rationales for these approaches in their appropriate historical, social, cultural and scientific context.
Tokyo Bay formed about 12000 years ago following the last glacial age(1, Tomoyuki). Over the millenia an intricate network of coral grew in the pattern of coral in all coastal regions. This coral today provides a vital role in the protecting the delicate ecosystem that exist in the area. There are many life forms that presently exist. Major groups of corals were only discovered within the last decade but now there is found to be an extensive network of coral all throughout the area. Indeed the bay is teeming with life. A rich population of plankton that have ironically thrived on the treated sewage waste that has been released into the bay provide the food base for a number of fish that live in the area, including bass, parrot fish,and shrimp to name just a few. The area has long been noted to produce fish stock at a higher rate than the surrounding ocean precisely because of the plankton. The problem has been that the encroachment by land reclamation has also claimed much of the flat land that surrounds the bay. Over 90 % of this land has been reclaimed in the last 50 years(4 , Mason) . The reasons for this expansion are rooted in Japan's need for more space.
There are 127 million people in Japan living in a geographical area the size of only five times the size of Britain(6, Mason). Land reclamation therefore is almost an historical inevitability. The earliest example of land reclamation occurred in the Edo era over 400 years ago. While this reclamation undoubtedly effected the delicate ecosystem the scale was small enough that the system was able to absorb the shocks. This remained the case till the postwar period when industrialization proceeded at a rapid pace.
Ironically the first widespread utilization of land reclamation arose out of a need to curb pollution. The Asanao Cement Corporation was the principal culprit in the the pollution of the inland areas of Fukagawa. A plan was therefore devised, ill conceived in retrospect, to reclaim land along the Tokyo bay and situate much of the heavy industry in this area(5, Amazaki). This was in 1912 and the growth expanded during the years of World War II, but only really dramatically increased in the post war rapid economic expansion. Amazaki describes the ...Show more

Summary

Japan is one of the most densely populated nations on the planet. Its extreme population density is a reflection of the land constraints on a growing population. The Japanese government has attempted to deal with the limited land with a series of massive land reclamation projects over the last 100 years…
Author : kklocko
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