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Friday, 12th December 2008
In General Japan News,

Japan plans for possibility of flooding catastrophe

Japan's land ministry is planning to increase the number of dams in the country by about 100 in order to guard against the possibility of major floods, it has been reported.

Officials have already proposed the building of 150 more dams, but now intend to boost this number by as much as 66 per cent, according to the Asahi Shimbun.

Hirotake Imamoto, a river engineering expert from Kyoto University, suggested that the ministry was misguided in its approach, claiming that dams will be ineffectual unless work is carried out to strengthen river banks.

"Even if Japan is covered with dams all over, they will be useless if river banks remain vulnerable," he the emeritus professor remarked. "It is time that the government came up with a realistic flood-control strategy."

A flood of catastrophic proportions is expected to hit Japan's river system at least once every two centuries.

Japan's Central Disaster Management Council released figures earlier this year predicting that as many as 6,300 people would die around Tokyo if any of the dams along the Tonegawa river broke, Asahi reported.