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IAC News No.129, July 2023

Japan Society of Civil Engineers  International Activities Center July 10, 2023  IAC News No.129

Message to Mark Inauguration as JSCE President

Shigeyoshi Tanaka
111th JSCE President


My name is Shigeyoshi Tanaka and I have been appointed as the 111th president of the Japan Society of Civil Engineers. I thank you all for your continuous support.

In “JSCE2020”, JSCE formulated four major mid-term targets in the areas of safety and reliability, international efforts, communication, and personnel. JSCE has since deployed various measures.

Reflecting on the President Projects since 2020, in fiscal 2020, under the leadership of President Hitoshi Ieda, a project was undertaken that carried out a “Japanese Infrastructure Report Card” initiative, clarifying that Japan’s infrastructure such as roads, rivers, and ports are insufficient in comparison to that of other countries.

In fiscal 2021, under the leadership of President Hiroaki Taniguchi, a project was launched that proposed “The Big Picture of Civil Engineering in Japan after the COVID-19 Pandemic,” which, from the perspective of the citizens of Japan, gave suggestions on future infrastructure that should be established to improve our everyday lives.

In fiscal 2022, under the leadership of President Tamon Ueda, a project on the theme of the “Globalization of Civil Engineering” was carried out that gave suggestions on the international deployment of Japan’s civil engineering technologies and how to resolve issues such as developing civil engineers and researchers that can flourish on the global stage.

These President Projects remind us of the need for further infrastructure in Japan, the importance of the role of civil engineers in this, and the significance of the contribution of civil engineering to the well-being of the citizens of Japan. Along with painting a picture of the good points of civil engineering, which can contribute to a wide range of fields, and an outlook of its future, these projects also facilitated initiatives so that Japanese civil engineers can succeed both domestically and internationally.

Following on from these projects, in fiscal 2023, I will take the role of Chairperson and launch the “Special Committee to Boost Civil Engineering for Creating the Future,” with the intention of engaging in efforts to improve the perception of civil engineering that contributes to a wide range of social challenges such as maintaining infrastructure, responding to disasters, and carbon neutrality, as well as improve the status of civil engineers. I am sure you all feel the same way in that, unfortunately, society’s perception and assessment of civil engineering falls short of what we expect given the role it has played in the world we live in. I believe that we must also correctly share with the world information on civil engineers working dynamically in various fields, as well as what makes civil engineering great.

As concrete efforts, we will set up the “Subcommittee for Discovering and Promoting the Wonderful World of Civil Engineering (Chairperson: Shogo Matsunaga)” and the “Subcommittee for Discovering the Status of Civil Engineers (Chairperson: Hajime Imanishi)” under the supervision of the aforementioned special committee.

The former subcommittee will start production on a concept movie that informs ordinary people of what makes civil engineering great, as well as choosing ambassadors to promote this message. We are also deploying efforts to pass on our signature projects and innovative technologies to future generations. Delving into large-scale projects of the past such as Kurobe River Hydropower Plant No.4 and the Seikan Tunnel, these projects will be appreciated once more by telling their story to the next generation as well as storing them as archives to be accessible at any time.

The latter subcommittee will focus on civil engineers working in a variety of domains such as engineers working in local construction industries or on maintenance sites, and will share information about the wonders of civil engineering from various perspectives and on tackling issues such as enhancing the abilities of engineers and passing on their skills. Regional stimulation and nurturing the next generation will be key phases here. Concerning the status of civil engineers, we will consider a suitable name that embodies the character, excellence, and status that should be associated with civil engineers.

I believe that one direction for achieving the ideal vision of civil engineering going forward is “Achieving an Environment Where People Thrive and a Resilient Society.” This is also an effort to build social infrastructure to stop the decline of Japan’s national strength due to a decreasing population.

We civil engineers must have creativity, flexibility, and versatility, and as basic attributes, we need a broad outlook and strong curiosity. The term “shuhari” (three stages of mastery: learning the fundamentals, breaking with tradition, and parting with traditional wisdom) exists in the world of performing arts in Japan. We civil engineers should also look to the future, evolve our skills and traditions, innovate, and promote the creation of new value.

Your continued support would be very much appreciated.

[Concept movie to convey the wonders of civil engineering]

・Access the video from this link: https://committees.jsce.or.jp/2023_Presidential_Project/node/9



The Asian Civil Engineering Coordinating Council (ACECC) 42nd Executive Committee Meeting in Jeju Island

1. Overview

ACECC (The Asian Civil Engineering Coordinating Council) is an organization established in September 1999 to maintain and grow sustainable social capital in Asia. The Executive Committee Meeting (ECM), which is the highest-level decision-making body of the ACECC, is held twice a year by member academic societies on a rotating basis. This was the first ECM where the ACECC secretariat was transferred to the Korean Society of Civil Engineers (KSCE), and following the order of hosts, was held on Jeju Island in South Korea, which will host the next Civil Engineering Conference in Asian Region (CECAR 10). In addition to the ECM program, TC18, TC27, and Future Leaders Forum (FLF) Seminars, as well as the Strategic Planning Goal 2 (SPG2) Session described later were held. In attendance from the Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE) were members of the Committee on Asian Civil Engineering Coordinating Council: JSCE Representative Eiki Yamaguchi (Kyushu Institute of Technology), Chairperson Hironori Kato (The University of Tokyo), and myself. The SPG2 Session was attended by then JSCE President Tamon Ueda, who also attended the ECM. 

2. Executive Committee Meeting (ECM)

The Technical Coordination Committee Meeting (TCCM) played host to reports on the activities of the 13 active Technical Committees (TC). I and Representative Yamaguchi each reported the efforts of TC21 (Transdisciplinary Approach for Building Societal Resilience to Disasters) and TC28 (Application of Monitoring Technology for Infrastructure Maintenance), for which JSCE serves as the Chair. In addition to the reports on the activities, reports were made on the extension to the activity period of TC18 (Adoption of Standard Operating Procedures for Design, Construction and Maintenance of Long-Span Bridges), TC22 (Retrofitting and Strengthening of Existing Infrastructures) and TC24 (Gender and Development in Infrastructure), and the ceasing of TC14 (Sustainable Infrastructure Capacity Building) and TC17 (Ethical Practices to Reduce Corruption). TC14 proposed a subsequent TC entitled “Sustainable Infrastructure Capacity Building,” and its establishment was approved as TC31.

In the Planning Committee Meeting (PCM), Dr. Kamal Laksiri, who is a fellow of the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL) that had requested to officially participate in the council, attended as an observer and introduced IESL. IESL was introduced as a long-standing organization established in 1906, of which about 60% of its 24,000 members are civil engineers. At the ECM, a vote was taken on IESL becoming a member of the ACECC. Elsewhere, ICE, India, which held the last Civil Engineering Conference in Asian Region (CECAR 9), gave a financial report, but they were asked to make another report once they had clarified the detailed business receipts and so on.

At the ECM, the decisions made at the TCCM and PCM were approved. At the ECM, Chairperson Kato was appointed as the Chair of the Financial Committee, and he will now oversee the financial affairs of the ACECC over the next three years. Lastly, Prof. Jae-Woo Park, who is the new president of ACECC, gave a speech outlining his general policy as president, declaring his focus is on matters such as the details of preparations for CECAR 10 and improving the website.

3. Strategic Planning Goal 2 (SPG2) Session

At ACECC, multiple Strategic Planning Meetings have been held since 2020, and to ensure the progress of the medium-term plan, the Tokyo Declaration, which was launched at CECAR 8 held in Tokyo in 2019, six goals were set. For Goal 2 of the six goals, “ACECC will develop initiatives and acquire civil engineering technologies to address challenges facing Asia” was set as the target, and Chairperson Kato was appointed as the Leader. A Task Force consisting of the following five people was set up: Kato Chairperson, Dr. Suraj Gautam (Nepal Engineer’s Association, NEA), Dr. Asih/Prasanti W. Sarli (Indonesian Society of Civil and Structural Engineers, HAKI) of the Future Leaders Committee (FLC), and from JSCE, Secretary-General of the Committee on Asian Civil Engineering Coordinating Council Masashi Inoue and myself. The Task Force discussed activities required by ACECC going forward and how to invigorate TC activities.

This ECM held an SPG2 Session, and as a report on the activities of the Task Force, I introduced the results of reviewing the relationship between the past declaration and TC and SDGs. In addition, JSCE President Tamon Ueda, Ms. April Lander of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and KSCE President Jun-Haeng Heo presented their societies’ vision for the future of the civil engineering industry, with a panel discussion entitled “ACECC’s Challenges and Visions in Civil Engineering” also taking place. The panel discussion panelists included the aforementioned speakers and Dr. Suraj Gautam, the Chair of the FLC, who participated online. Chairperson Kato acted as the moderator for the discussions. The discussions covered topics such as the need for activities related to the problem of poverty, an issue that is not being tackled by a TC, unlike the Social Development Goals. As such discussions have not taken place during the ACECC to date, the discussions were popular with the audience. The Task Force will create a report based on these discussions and suggest future activities of the ACECC.

4. Conclusion

Although this was the first ECM held by a new secretariat led by KSCE, it was run fantastically and significant discussions were had. The next ECM will be organized by the Chinese Institute of Civil and Hydraulic Engineering (CICHE) and held in Taipei in October. The next ECM will be held directly before the 50th anniversary of the establishment of CICHE, and so joint events are also scheduled to be held. I hope we send many attendees from JSCE as well.

ECM and ACECC Members

Strategic Plan Goal 2 Session 
(From the right, President Heo, Ms. Lander, President Ueda, Chairperson Kato, and myself)


【Reported by Jun Izawa, Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on ACECC  (Railway Technical Research Institute)】



◆The International Infrastructure Archives – A Compilation of Japan’s Greatest Projects in Transfer of Civil Engineering Technology in Service –
◆IAC “News Pick Up!!” on the JSCE Japanese website
◆Summary of featured articles in JSCE Magazine Vol. 108, No.7, July 2023
◆Journal of JSCE
◆【PRESS RELEASE, 5th June 2023】 European Council of Civil Engineers
◆The 4th Asian Concrete Federation (ACF) Symposium on Emerging Technologies for Structural Longevity (ACF2022_ETSL): https://acf2022.aconf.org/index.html
◆Union Chain Bridge 200th Anniversary Celebration





◆ASCE 2023 CONVENTION, CHICAGO (October, 18-21)
◆KSCE 2023 CONVENTION (October, 18-20)


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