Message from the President
Landslide is a great threat to human lives, properties and environment especially in the mountainous and hilly terrain in the world due to torrential rains, snow and ice melting, earthquakes, and volcanic activities. Landslides occur on the fragile mountain slopes as a result of many geo-physical factors including recent global climate change and human intervention. The term “landslide” includes various types of mass movement such as slide, fall, topple, spread and flow as defined by Cruden and Varnes (1992). Consequently, the form, scale and the impacts of the landslide vary widely from debris avalanche with extremely high speed to gradual slope deformation with a movement rate of less than one centimeter a year. This type of variation is one of the important characteristics of landslide hazards.
Due to the climate and physiographical settings such as extreme precipitation, steep terrain with active tectonic movements compounded with a fragile geology, Japan has been adversely affected by frequent landslides. Settlements and agricultural lands are often located on gentle slopes of landslide origin. Various infrastructures suffer from landslide risks. Therefore there is an urgent requirement of landslide hazard mapping and mitigation plans for protecting human lives and watershed management. Also, there is a need to plan and implement landslide control works in the mountain areas.
The Japan Landslide Society (JLS) was founded in 1963 and consists of around 1,700 members as of 2012. JLS comprises seven branches throughout the country. The headquarter is located in Tokyo. It aims to develop landslide science and technology and to assist researchers, engineers, policy-makers and people to recognize the nature of landslides and help them for the mitigation of hazards. JLS has continued the activities to:
1) exchange knowledge and experience
2) promote comprehensive scientific research activities, and
3) publish results of such activities.
The journal of the Japan Landslide Society which was first appeared in 1964 has been published every two month to disseminate various research results and provide up-to-date information on the activities of the Society.
Since its establishment, the Japan Landslide Society has organized 50 annual conferences with numerous oral and poster presentations and a number of symposiums with specific topics and field excursions. The international conference on landslide was organized in Kathmandu in collaboration with Nepal Landslide Society in 2004 and a symposium in Sendai in 2008. Another symposium on earthquake-induced landslides will be held in Kiryu, Japan in November in 2012. The Society is also a member of International Consortium on landslides (ICL).
A special issue of 7th revision of “Landslide in Japan” (in English) focusing on the current advancement on landslide research and technical development of mitigation measures in Japan will be published in 2012.
It is our sincere expectation that the results of our research, investigation and mitigation projects will be disseminated not only among the professionals within the country but also among the researchers internationally to promote disaster awareness and technology development regarding landslide hazard mitigation.
Prof. Daisukee HIGAKI
The Japan Landslide Society