6th MAB/PES Workshop:  Professor Mineo Kato Lecture (July 12, ’22)

Professor Mineo Kato (Graduate School of International Social Sciences) gave a lecture entitled “National park management with active cooperation by private companies ー An example of the relationship between the Oze National Park and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) ー” from 13:00 on July 12 (Tue) by Zoom, and there were many participants from inside the university.

Professor Kato explains that TEPCO owns a large part of the land in Ozegahara and strives for tourism and maintenance such as the installation of promenades.

ー Some Contents from the Lecture ー

Nature’s “protection and use” has always been a central issue in national park management, but most conservation activities are “protection from (excessive) use” and “activities for use” are generally considered as “development”.

Kegon Falls in Nikko National Park is famous as a tourist spot.  However, it is not well known that large-scale collapse prevention measures were carried out inside of the wall to maintain the landscape.

The Kansai Electric Power Group, which constructed, maintains and manages the Kurobe Dam, still operates the Kurobe Gorge Railway and is actively engaged in tourism in the Kurobe Gorge in the Chubu Mountains National Park.

Tokushu Tokai Paper Co. owns a vast forest of 24,430ha (approx. 40% of Tokyo metropolitan Area) within and adjacent to Southern Alps National Park.  Many famous peaks of Southern Alps (such as Mt. Aino, Mt. Akaishi, Mt. Hijiri etc.) are located inside.

It was an interesting lecture because the contributions of private companies in Japanese national parks at Oze and other areas are not well known. After the 45-minute lecture, there were questions and comments from several people including Professor Matsuda and Associate Professor Kurata, and it was a very meaningful seminar.