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Disaster Prevention

Measures against earthquakes,hige tides, and tsunami at the Port of Tokyo

The Port of Tokyo is located deep within the Bay of Tokyo, which is highly isolated to the southwest and has very shallow waters. As such, the port is highly susceptible to the effects of high tide and rising water levels are considered high waters.

Also, to the rear of the Port of Tokyo is a high concentration of municipal functions, including core metropolitan functions, operations, and businesses.

Furthermore, in the eastern area of Tokyo is a vast "zero meter" zone where the ground is below sea level at full tide, meaning that there are areas of the city facing a high level of flood risk that would cause massive damage in the event of flooding.

As such, we continue to work on the development of shoreline protection facilities including levees, embankments, flood gates, and draining pumping sites in order to protect the lives and assets of our residents from high tides and tsunami as well as provide a secure, worry-free living environment.

The Port of Tokyo shoreline protection facilities have been in full-fledge development since 1961 with a goal of creating a system of protection from high tides equivalent to those caused by typhoons like the Ise Bay Typhoon, one of largest typhoons to ever hit Japan. These facilities include outer levees, flood gates, and drainage pumping sites designed to protect national land from high tides and are managed according to outlined High Tide Protection Standards.

The Great East Japan Earthquake resulted in new damage estimates from the Tokyo Metropolitan Disaster Prevention Council. As a result, in December 2012 we drafted a new development plan for all shoreline preservation facilities. Moving forward, we will work diligently to promote the implementation of this plan and through this plan work to reinforce our earthquake, tsunami, and high tide response measures.

Futhermore, we are working to enhance all disaster prevention facilities, including ensuring the response times and accuracy of floodgates and levees.

The Harumi Canal

Seawalls, Floodgates,Pump Stations,and Inland Locks

A seawall standing between 4.6 and 8.0m above the mean low tide was erected along the Tokyo waterfront area from the Arakawa River to Haneda to protect Tokyo from high tides and tsunami. Though built-in flood gates are positioned at passageways linking canals and the sea, they are closed to prevent the ingress of tidal water and tsunami during a typhoon or earthquake. The pumping station facility serves to prevent water levels inside the gates from rising due to rainwater when the gates are closed. Also, inland locks have been constructed at locations where the seawall intersects with a road or would otherwise cut off access to a loading site or warehouse.

During the Great Tohoku Earthquake that occured on March 11, 2011, the closing of the floodgates worked to prevent damage from the tsunami.

Floodgates and pump stations have been built in a flurry of activities from the early 1960s through the mid 70s and, now with the passage of several decades since their completion, there is a mounting need for countermeasures to deal with the deterioration as well as efforts to reinforce their earthquake resistance in the event of a large earthquake. We are current involved in a large-scale project to refurbish the floodgates and pump stations in order to maintain the facilities in good condition.

Meguro River Floodgate

High Tide Management Center

To ensure rapid response to earthquakes, tsunami, high tide and other emergency situations, a High Tide Response Center, which controls the operation of floodgates and other facilities, has been established in the Port of Tokyo. A "Remote Control System" was created in 1979 to ensure uniform management of information gathering and disaster response instructions as well as speed up floodgate control.
Furthermore, to ensure all Coastal Protection facilities function properly, we conduct daily facility maintenance, inspections, and equipment operational checks.
Moving forward, as part of the restructuring of these systems we will centralize the operating functions of each subcenter and create a system of Storm Surge Response Centers in two locations so that in the event either center is damaged in a disaster, the other location will be able to conduct operations remotely.

High Tide Management Center


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address:Bureau of Port and Harbor,Tokyo Metropolitan Government 8-1 Nishishinjuku 2-chome Shinjuku-ku Tokyo 163-8001, Japan (ALL inquiries should be written in English or Japanese.)