A Report on the 27th All-Japan Environmental Institutions Symposium

NIES Planning Department, Research Coordination Office

The All-Japan Environmental Institutions Symposium, first convened in 1986, is now held annually in the fourth quarter of each fiscal year with the aim of:

“[…] facilitating exchange between regional environmental institutions and NIES researchers through presentations and discussions relating to environmental research. Along with serving to help develop new opportunities for collaborative research, it is intended to enhance the overall cause of environmental research.”

The 27th Symposium took as its’ title “Disasters and the Environment (Including Pollution by Radioactive Materials”, and was successfully convened on February 15 and 16, 2012, in the OHYAMA Memorial Hall at NIES, attracting the participation of 139 people over its’ course.

At the opening of the symposium, a minutes’ silence was observed to honor those who lost their lives in the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, as well as those who died in the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake of January 1995, and to pray for the peaceful rest of all disaster victims. Respects were also paid to the countless persons affected by the destruction caused by disasters.

On the first day, NIES President Shinichiro OHGAKI’s Opening Address “Our Aims at NIES under the Current Five-year Plan” was followed by remarks and the symposium Keynote Speech by Yuichi NAGASAKA Head of the Ministry of the Environment Japan’s Environmental Research and Technology Division, entitled “The Great East Japan Earthquake and Initiatives of the Ministry of Environment, Japan”. This was followed by inclusive group discussions for each session, with a total of seven presentations in two sessions over the course of the day. On the second day, there were a total of six presentations and group discussions in the sessions on disasters and the environment.

In the context of unprecedented disasters, including the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, the subsequent tsunami, and the spread of radioactive materials, as well as large typhoons, which have all been experienced in recent times, and which have all led to significant environmental change, the symposium was an invaluable opportunity for researchers and members of the administrations of regional environmental institutions to meet in one place in order to share and discuss the most up-to-date information and current and forthcoming trends. This included presentations and discussions of a broad scope, encompassing studies in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake; new environmental issues resulting from the diffusion of radioactive materials; and the outcomes of studies conducted after the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake

Sincerest thanks are extended to all of the presenters and participants, as well as all who contributed to the planning and administration of the event.


February 15 (Wednesday), 2012
Opening Address: “Our Aims at NIES under the Current Five-year Plan”,
Shinichiro OHGAKI, NIES President
Remarks and Keynote Speech: “The Great East Japan Earthquake and Initiatives of the Ministry of Environment, Japan”,
by Guest of Honor Yuichi NAGASAKA, Head, Ministry of the Environment Japan, Environmental Research and Technology Division,.
Part One: Waste from the Great East Japan Earthquake

(1) “Towards the Appropriate Disposal of Radioactive Waste Materials” Masahiro OSAKO, Director, Center for Material Cycles and Waste Management Research, NIES

(2) “Current Situation and Issues involving Disaster Waste Materials form Iwate Prefecture”, Hideyuki SASAKI, Department of Environment and Residential Life, Iwate Prefecture

(3) “Atmospheric Observation in Miyagi Prefecture in the Wake of the Earthquake”, Keisuke KIKUCHI, Shunichi KOIZUMI, Yoko KITAMURA, Takashi SAKUMA, Hideo KIKUCHI (Institute of Public Health and Environment, Miyagi Prefecture)

(4) “Asbestos Survey for the Great East Japan Earthquake: with Analytic Support from the National Environmental Research Association” Miki KANAKUBO, Hideaki AIDA, Jutaro TAKEHATA (Sendai Municipal Institute of Public Health)

Part One Group Discussion, Chair: Masahiro OSAKO (NIES)

Part Two: Environmental Pollution Originating from Radioactive Materials from the Great East Japan Earthquake 

(5) “Overview of Research on Environmental Pollution from Radioactive Materials at NIES”, Toshimasa OHARA (NIES Research Group for Multimedia Dynamics and Radioactive Materials)

(6) “Radiation Monitoring Activities in Fukushima Prefecture since the Earthquake”, Takehiro CHONAN (Nuclear Power Monitoring Team, Fukushima Prefectural Environmental Center, Prefectural Disaster Management Headquarters)

(7) “Koriyama City Radioactive Materials Pollution and Decontamination Initiatives”, Munemitsu KIKUCHI (Koriyama City Environmental Conservation Center), Masatoshi SATO (Koriyama City Nuclear Power Disaster Policy and Response Office)

Part Two Group Discussion, Chair: Toshimasa OHARA (NIES)

February 16 (Thursday), 2012
Part Three: Disasters and the Environment

(8) “Details of the Environmental Research Field Disaster Environment”, Hideaki NAKANE (NIES)

(9) “Enclosed Coastal Seas in the Wake of the Earthquake”, Shinichi FUKUCHI (Miyagi Prefectural Institute of Public Health and Environment), Hisao SASAKI, Chikako MARUO, Nobuo CHIBA, Osamu NISHIMURA (Tohoku University), Hideaki MAKI (NIES)

(10) “Impact Study of the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake on Osaka Bay”, Hajime MIYAZAKI (Hyogo Environmental Advancement Association, Hyogo Prefectural Institute of Environmental Science)

(11) “Petroleum etc., Pollution in Tohoku Pacific Coast Marine Sediment Caused by the Tsunami”, Hideaki MAKI, Gen KANAYA, Yasuo NAKAMURA (NIES), Shinichi FUKUCHI (Miyagi Prefectural Institute of Public Health and Environment), Nobuyuki TANAKA, Chikako MARUO, Hisao SASAKI, Nobuo CHIBA, Osamu NISHIMURA (Tohoku University)

(12) “Chemical Monitoring in the Wake of the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake”, Chisato MATSUMURA (Hyogo Environmental Advancement Association, Hyogo Prefectural Institute of Environmental Science)

(13) “How the Environment and Biota of Gamo Lagoon (Miyagi Prefecture, Sendai City) has Changed since the Disaster”, Gen KANAYA, (NIES), Takao SUZUKI (Tohoku University), Hideaki MAKI, Yasuo NAKAMURA (NIES), Eisuke KIKUCHI (Miyagi University of Education)

Part Three Group Discussion, Chair: Hideaki NAKANE (NIES)

Closing Remarks:
Hiroshi SATO, NIES Vice President

(Opening Address by Shinichiro OHGAKI, NIES President)
(A minutes’ silence is observed for the victims of disasters)
Scene from the Symposium Venue (OHYAMA Memorial Hall)