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For the public

What is “landslide”?

 Every year, landslides occur due to heavy rain, continued rainfall, snow melting or strong earthquakes, causing damage to the involved regions. About terminology “Landslide”, the Japan Landslide Society defined it “downslope movement of rock, soil or their mixture mass” same as it used in overseas, using the terminology as comprehensive world including collapse on steep slopes, debris flow and rockfall.

 However, in Japan, there is also existing legal definition for the “Landslide”. In the Landslide Prevention Act which enacted in 1958, include its Article 2 , the “Landslide” was defined as “sliding phenomena of a part of land due to groundwater and/or other factors, or moving phenomena involved to the sliding phenomena”.

 Thus, in Japan, the terminology of “Landslide” is used either in broad sense in scientific field and narrow sense in administratively obey the law. Moreover, in recent years, except the groundwater which was considered to be the main factor for landsliding, strong earthquakes were also widely noticed as an important factor for landsliding.

 We, the Japan Landslide Society, now are endeavoring to promote study for revealing the mechanism of landslides, providing information about landslides and publishing the results of researches and studies.

Introduction of the Japan Landslide Society

 The Japan Landslide Society is the only academic organization in Japan that is exclusively engaged in the study of “landslides” that often threaten the national land of Japan.

 The causes of landslide are not limited to intense rainfall and snow melting, as are evidenced by landslide events in the Chuetsu Earthquake, the Iwate-Miyagi Nairiku Earthquake, and a great earthquake in Szechuan, China. In the event of big scale landslide, the Japan Landslide Society immediately organizes an emergency team of volunteer investigator to be dispatched to the disaster site. They investigate the outbreak mechanism, which outcomes are reported in the periodical study presentations and symposiums, as well as in the Journal of the Japan Landslide Society (6 issues a year) and occasional publications of “Landslides in Japan”, each of which draws attention from a number of experts. Moreover, the outcome of our daily study efforts is not only contributing within the academic circle, but it is also passed on to the society through the public promotional workshops, lecture visits, local meetings and the children’s landslide society, as our purpose is to contribute to the disaster prevention education in the community. Those activities are coordinated and operated voluntarily by the nationwide local branches including Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, Niigata, Chubu, Kansai, and Kyushu.

 We are confident the activities of the Japan Landslides Society that aims to provide practical learning for “safety and security” of our country are appealing to the people whether they are in the field of industry, government, or academia or even to those who have little knowledge about landslides.
 All people who are interested in our activities are welcome to join the Society.