What is “JAPAN INSTITUTE OF LAND AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES” (KOKUDOKEN)?

Today, our life is threatened by the destruction of our environment such as disasters and pollution intensifies all over the country.

Natural hazards (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, anomalous weather, etc.) frequently cause expanded damage due to the anthropogenic factors such as construction of dams, roads, power plants, combinates and other facilities, land reclamation, and excavation of underground resources.

 We can point out these types of disaster such as earthquakes, floods, landslides, subsidence of ground, and coastal erosion. So there are quite many troubles between the national and local administrations and private corporations which have responsibilities for disaster relief, and the residents who become victims.

 KOKUDOKEN was established in 1962 shortly after the Isewan Typhoon attacked Japan and killed more than 5000 people, reflecting the criticism that traditional sciences and technology had served only for developments under the banner of “publicness”, and that they had been often useless for residents as the victims of harmful developments.

The launching of KOKUDOKEN owes to a great effort of late Sato Takeo who was the executive of the Research Association of National Economy, and late Denichi Kaneiwa who was the member of the House of Councilors and also the executive of the Council of Democratic Group for Disaster.

We aim at the two points: We will be conscious of responsibility of scientists for our society. We demonstrate concretely and practically how science and technology should be developed for safe and comfortable amenity for the people.

Each member of KOKUDOKEN is asked to practice integrated interdisciplinary research for the people, on the basis of deep research into specific domains of science, still linked with a wide range of scientists, engineers, workers of local administration, sharing the standpoint with the related inhabitants, and giving importance to field survey.

We thus respect three principles: The principle of "For the people", the principle of priority of field studies, and the principle of Trans-disciplinarity. We go out of conventional separation to specialties towards democratic promotion of researches involving public-involving discussion, further having a view of the future development of sciences.

Under these principle we research the problems such as:
1. The environment (gravel mining, sewage and sanitary systems, housing, land reclamation, development of housing complexes and new towns)
2. The pollution (air and water pollution, power plant, garbage treatment, problem, noise and vibration)
3. The urban problem (circulation of commodity, redevelopment, the city planning and the explosion of population)
4. The architectural problems (Apartment houses, office buildings, defective buildings)
5. The regional development (tourism, community planning, cityscape conservation, schools, resort areas and golf course problems)
6. The road traffic problem
7. The ground and slope hazards (The uneven subsidence and depression, landslides, debris flows)
8. The seismic, volcanic and other geohazards
9. The flood mitigation (inundation control and riparian work)
10. The dam problem (dam-induced hazards, anomalous silting, assessment of dam construction)
11. The water utilization (water supply and water resources)
12. The problems in agriculture, forestry and fishery
13. The problems in the over-sea areas

The policy of activities
A) We carry out the investigations, advises, and consulting about a wide range of regional problems based on request from the victims of disaster, civic groups and local administrations.
B) We also carry out independent investigations, lectures, seminars, field workshops for land and environment studies.
C) We publish the journal of the institution “The Land and Environment Problems”, newsletter, and scientific information.

Administration of KOKUDOKEN
A) The activities take place based on the code of KOKUDOKEN. The basic policy of activities is decided in the general meeting and individual policy is decided by the board of administration and implemented by the executive committee.
B) The administrative cost is provided by membership fee, donation from the client and other financial support. Membership and executive members A) Anyone who agrees to our policy can get membership on introduction of existing members, after the payment of the prescribed membership fee. B) Annual membership fee (in Japanese Yen) is 10,000 for regular members, 5,000 for student members, and 20,000 fir supporting members of single share (two or more shares are appreciated).
C) A member receive each copy of the journal, newsletter, and other publications. They can participate various activities and meeting of the Institute, and use the office and the research materials in it.
D) The members are spread all over Japan, but many live in the Kinki area, so we have located our office in Kyoto.
E) In KOKUDOKEN there are scientists and engineers, consultants, teachers, attorneys, workers, students, practitioners of citizens activities, and officers and councilors of regional administrations.
F) Specialties of the members cover geology, regional planning, city planning, architecture, geography, civil engineering, surveying, labor problem, citizens movement, agriculture and forestry, physics, chemistry, law, biology, river hydraulics, administration, economics, meteorology, seismology, erosion control, machinery, history and culture.
G) KOKUDOKEN is managed by executives such as the president, the vice-president, the director general and other administrators.

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