Japan’s ‘Great Wall’

The Great Wall of Japan is yet another dubious plan to concrete over much of the country’s coast for the LOVE OF CONCRETE, grrr.

The Great Wall of Japan
—Tsunami protection–or a boondoggle for builders?—

The Economist.com | 2014 June 14
Three years ago, an earthquake under the Pacific Ocean triggered towering waves that carried away over 18,000 people and caused a meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power station…
…Japan’s government wasted little time announcing a favourite solution: pouring concrete. A few months after the disaster it pledged to build hundreds of seawalls and breakers in the three worst-hit prefectures of Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate. The total cost will be up to ¥1 trillion ($9.8 billion). More walls are planned. A report by the ministries of agriculture and land said 14,000km of Japan’s 35,000km coastline requires tsunami protection.
Seawalls are controversial. They look hideous and the evidence for their effectiveness is flimsy…in the city of Kamaishi a $1.6 billion breakwater, listed in the “Guinness Book of Records” as the world’s largest, crumbled on impact. Nearly 90% of existing seawalls along the northeast coast suffered a similar fate. Critics say they even resulted in greater damage being caused elsewhere. “There is simply no guarantee that seawalls will stop every single tsunami,” says Nobuo Shuto, an engineer at Tohoku University.
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http://news.3yen.com/wp-content/images/Alien_Tetrapods_Attack1.jpg

Environmentalists, surfers, and anybody sane hates these concrete seawalls and tetrapods because over time they cause all the sand on beaches destroying the beach habitat creating a concrete dead zone. The Japanese fishing industry is so stupid they don’t realize that by destroying the beach/coastal habitat they are further reducing the number of fish in their already over-fished waters, arrrg.

Previous 3Yen reports (since 2006) on this concrete problem include:

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Taro

I'm a pale, alien, quadruped who has worked for 25+ years at "Maybe-the-Largest Inc." in Tokyo.

8 thoughts on “Japan’s ‘Great Wall’”

  1. There was documentary the other week on NHK about rebuilding the seawalls, one interesting thing they came up with was a leaflet from the 50’s when some place’s seawall was first built (while memories of the 1933 tsunami were still fresh), which stated explicitly that the seawall’s purpose was not to provide absolute tsunami protection, but to provide extra time for people to escape to higher ground – something which had been forgotten in the half-century since.
    IIRC the plan was to rebuild the wall somewhat higher, but on the same principle, i.e. it isn’t technically or financially feasible to provide a wall high and strong enough to withstand the once-in-1000 year tsunamis, but enough to give everyone behind it a decent chance of surviving.

  2. The Japanese fishing industry is so stupid they don’t realize that by destroying the coastal habitat they are further reducing the number of fish in their already over-fished waters, arrrg.

    Good…

    charles-darwin

  3. Koizumi resident Abe, meanwhile, says the indiscriminate construction of sea walls will only strengthen Japan’s international image as a “concrete fortress.”
    “The tsunami was a force of nature, so I can forgive it for the destruction and misery it caused,” he says. “But for humans to ruin their own environment.… I can never forgive that.”

    They got the wrong Abe in office

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