Mankind has had a close relationship with rivers since the birth of civilization. A comment on the Egyptian empire says, "Egypt is the gift of the Nile"; and an old Chinese proverb says "One who controls rivers governs the country".|
On the one hand, rivers have been man's helpful friends, contributing to his social and economic development and progress. But at the same time, they have been his fierce enemies, periodically unleashing their awesome power to ravage his establishments.
No doubt rivers will continue to play an important role in the further development of our society, and the role of the River Bureau is to make the relationship between man and rivers as symbiotic as possible.
This booklet provides an outline of the activities and philosophy of the River Bureau, Ministry of Land Infrastructure Transport and Tourism, Japan. The River Bureau's jurisdiction, as its name implies, covers primarily river administration and works, directed towards flood control, water utilization, and the like. Also falling under the jurisdiction of the River Bureau, though perhaps less obviously, are coastal works, landslide prevention, and slope failure prevention works.
We hope the information provided in this booklet will help to create a better understanding of the activities of the River Bureau and of the characteristics and circumstances of rivers in Japan.