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Research Activities

Research Projects

FY 2006/2007 Research Topic: 4-31
Sustainable Governance for River Basins: A Review of Experiences in Japan and China toward International Cooperation


The Water Crisis is believed to be quite serious, prompting governments, international organizations and NGOs to take concrete measures to mitigate it. In Japan, the amendment of the River Law in 1997 and enforcement of the Nature Restoration Promotion Law in 2003 are requiring public involvement and stakeholders' participation in the process of river management and nature restoration plans. After the amendment and enforcement of these laws, consultative committees with a wide range of stakeholders including experts, local NGOs and community representatives have been set up for many river basins and other wetlands. In addition to legislative action at the national level, following decentralization, many local governments (prefectures) are now introducing or considering taxation with the aim to encourage the conservation of water resources and forests. NPOs are also playing an important role in taking new initiatives. While Japan moves forward toward sustainable river basin governance with decentralization and broader stakeholder participation, China is still struggling with how to reform river basin management to mitigate problems such as the long-term depletion of river water flow, frequent floods, and serious water pollution. China is also trying to develop a sustainable river basin governance system, but unlike Japan, it has faced many institutional barriers. This research group aims to examine sustainable governance for river basins both in Japan and China, along with the possibilities for international cooperation.


April 2006 - March 2007


Members of the Research Project

KATAOKA Naoki (Professor, Tokyo Keizai University)
NAKAYAMA Mikiyasu (Professor,University of Tokyo)
FUJITA Kaori (Associate Professor, St. Andrew's University)
ONISHI Kayo (Ph.D. candidate, University of Tokyo)


Information of the Research Project

Turner, Jennifer L. and Kenji Otsuka eds. Promoting Sustainable River Basin Governance - Crafting Japan-U.S. Water Partnerships in China (IDE Spot Survey No.28) IDE-JETRO. 2005.