Rivers Receiving Higher Grades in Recent Report Card

More Rivers Receive Grades of Four Points or Better in Third River Report Card System

The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) published the results of a river survey known as a "report card" system on July 16, 2010. In the survey, MLIT evaluated rivers and their surrounding environments from citizens' perspective at major recreation sites along first-class river systems nationwide. All 665 sites along 236 rivers in 108 catchments were evaluated using a five-point scale on the basis of criteria, such as availability of open spaces and familiarity. About 50 percent were graded at four points or better, and five sites received a five-point grade.

This survey has been conducted every three years since fiscal 2003, and the most recent study was the third to use the river report card system. The evaluation aims to acknowledge good and bad points and to promote conservation and maintenance of good rivers and their surrounding environments. In response to comments from citizens during the previous survey in fiscal 2006, MLIT conducted facility maintenance, weeding and cleaning at 206 sites.

In the overall evaluation, five sites received a five-point grade (0.8%), 327 sites received a four-point grade (49.2%), 325 sites received a three-point grade (48.9%) and eight sites received a two-point grade (1.2%). The percentage of rivers and their surrounding environments that received four points or better increased by about 14% from the previous survey.

The following five sites received a five-point grade: Omonogawa River Park in Yokote City, Akita Prefecture; Joganjigawa Park in Tateyama-Machi, Nakaniikawa-Gun, Toyama Prefecture; Kawasakyo Gorge in Fuchu City, Hiroshima Prefecture; Nanasegawa River Natural Park in Oita City, Oita Prefecture; and Otozu River Waterfront Fun School Project in Oita City, Oita Prefecture. The comments about these sites included: "good layout of the land for children to play;" "abundant nature on walking trails;" "pleasant sounds from the stream;" and "good accessibility to the waterfront."

(Courtesy of Japan for Sustainability)