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Cancellation of Landfill in FujimaeTidal Flat, Aichi, Japan


In July 1981 [1], Nagoya City announced a plan to fill 105ha of Fujimae tidal flat for the construction of a landfill [2].  The background was the population increase and the increase in waste due to the widespread use of plastic [3].  On the other hand, the Fujimae Tidal Flat had become a valuable relay site (feeding ground) for Japan's leading migratory birds. Hence, this plan became a major social problem from the aspect of wild bird protection and natural environment preservation [1].  Grassroots groups, which were interested in the protection of migratory birds and the conservation of tidal flats, developed their resistance [1].  

February 1987 [4] saw the formation of the "Community Meeting to Protect Tidal Flats in Nagoya Port" (later renamed as the "Group to Protect the Fujimae Tidal Flat") counting with 15 nature-preserving groups of nature conservation groups in the surrounding area [5].  One of the notable activities of the group was the"100,000 Petition" in 1990 [6]. Their call for signature activity won the support of all parties [7].  In March 1992, the project was revised to reduce the landfill area to 52ha, taking into account the need to preserve the natural environment [7].

The landfill project itself, however, was approved in December 1993 after the decision to reduce its area furthermore to 46.5 ha [1].  In August 1998, Nagoya City put an artificial tidal flat maintenance plan on the assessment report, applied for the landfill, and proceeded to the approval by the municipal assembly, the prefectural assembly and the Ministry of Transport [1] (at that time), respectively.

Then, the situation suddenly started to change.  In April 1998, the International Association for Impact Assessment adopted the "Fujimae Tidal Flat Recommendation (urgent proposal)", which called for a review of the assessment by Nagoya City [6].  In December of the same year, the Environment Agency of Japanese government pointed out the integrity of the Fujimae Tidal Flat's Reclamation at the International Wetland Symposium, based on the results of surveys on the actual conditions of the artificial tidal flats in various places which had been conducted by the preservanionists[1].  Then, followed remarks by the Secretary of the Environment Agency and by the Minister of Transport [1], and the media also insisted on the conservation of the Fujimae Tidal Flat [6]. What was critical, though, was people's opinion [6]. The mayor of Nagoya, on 26 January 1999 [1], announced: “I carefully considered the balance between safety and people's clean life and preservation of the natural environment.  Then, I decided to cancel the construction.”[8] Fujimae

Tidal Flat was saved from a garbage landfill project and

designated as a Ramsar Site in November 2002.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Cancellation of Landfill in FujimaeTidal Flat, Aichi, Japan
State or province:Aichi
Location of conflict:West 1st district of the Nagoya Port, Fujimae Higata
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Land acquisition conflicts
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Specific commodities:Land
Sand, gravel
Domestic municipal waste

Project Details and Actors

Project details

Population in Nagoya City: 2,089,163 (1981-10-01) [9]

Transition of the Fujimae Tidal Flat Reclamation Project and its Process [1]

July 1981: In the port planning (maneuverable by the Ministry of Transportation), 105ha West 1 District (Fujimae Tidal Flat) was positioned as a site for waste disposal etc.

March 1989: Landfill area on the port plan was reduced from 105ha to 70ha considering the impact on the river.

April 1989: Nagoya mayoral election. Opponents made candidates and took the Fujisaki Tidal Flat as an issue.

March 1992: The landfill area was further reduced to 52ha, in consideration of the need to preserve the natural environment.

July 1993: Nagoya City Land Development Corporation acquired approx. 118ha in advance for the project.

December 1993: Furthermore, the landfill area was reduced to 46.5 ha and the project was approved.

January 1994: The environmental impact assessment procedure started.

August 1998: The Environmental Impact Assessment Report was presented.

August 1998: Apply for public water reclamation.

January 1999: The mayor of Nagoya announced the cancellation of the project.

Final landfill plan [1]

1. Landfill area: Approx. 46.5 ha

2. Landfill volume: Approx. 4 million m3

3. Landfill breakdown: Approx. 2.72 million m3 of general waste

Public industrial waste approx. 390,000 m3

Approx. 370,000 m3 of public land generated residual soil

Approx. 520,000 m3 of soil

4. Structure: Management type

5. Revetment construction: 1999-2004

6 Landfill period: 2001-2010

7 Landfill site: Maintenance of green space, sports recreation facilities in harmony with natural environment

Birds flying to the Fujimae Tidal Flat [10]

・Spring and Autumn: Pluvialis squatarola [11] , Calidris ruficollis [12], Numenius arquata [13]

・Summer: Sterna albifrons [14], Butorides striatus [15], Ardea intermedia [16]

・Winter: Aythya marila [17], Chroicocephalus saundersi [18], Calidris alpina [19]

・All year round: Pandion haliaetus [20], Phalacrocorax carbo [21], Ardea cinereal [22]

Benthic life inhabiting Fujimae Tidal Flat [10]

・Fish: Anguilla [23], Mugil cephalus [24], Periophthalmus [25]

・Crustacean: Macrophthalmus japonicus [26], Balanus albicostatus [27], Upogebia major [28], Pagurus minutus [29]

・Shellfish: Corbicula japonica [30], Laternula Marilina [31], Assiminea lutea japonica [32]

・Others: Nereididae [33], Haliplanella lineata [34]

Tidal flat area in Japan (ha) [10]

1945: 82,621

1978: 63,856

1994: 61,443

Changes in the population (1,000 people) and the amount of landfilled waste (1,000 tons) in Nagoya City from the Fujimae Cancellation [35]

1989: 314 ton (2,150 people)

1990: 320 (2,155)

1991: 330 (2,159)

1992: 314 (2,162)

1993: 314 (2,159)

1994: 316 (2,153)

1995: 308 (2,152)

1996: 299 (2,151)

1997: 277 (2,154)

1998: 280 (2,161)

Project area:105
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:2,090,000
Start of the conflict:01/02/1981
End of the conflict:26/01/1999
Relevant government actors:-Nagoya City Council
-Aichi Prefectural assembly
-Environment Agency
-Ministry of Transport
International and Finance InstitutionsRamsar convention
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:-Group to Protect Fujimae Tidal Flat (
-International Association for Impact Assessment (

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Appeal for global relatives to send letters, Adoption of resolutions at academic societies, Establishment of committee, Claims at symposiums, Ministerial statements, Designation as Ramsar site


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Global warming, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Global warming, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Other Environmental impactsThreat to migrating birds
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Loss of landscape/sense of place, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures


Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Institutional changes
Negotiated alternative solution
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Project cancelled
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:It can be appreciated that the plan was cancelled. It is true, though, that the waste keeps being accumulated. In the future, there is a possibility that the plan should reemerge.

Sources & Materials

Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Chapter 4 Environmental Assessment for Tidal Flat Ecosystem (accessed on 28-03-2019)

Ramsar Convention (accessed on 05-04-2019)

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Platalea minor (accessed on 31-03-2019)クロツラヘラサギ

[8] Reduction of garbage 23% in two years! (accessed on 31-03-2019)

Population in Nagoya City (accessed on 02-04-2019)

Japanese registered wetland in Ramsar Convention [Fujimae Tidal Flat] (accessed on 05-04-2019)

About maintenance (accessed on 31-03-2019)

[7] Outline of Fujimae Tidal Flat Conservation Activity (accessed on 31-03-2019)

[12] Calidris ruficollis (accessed on 02-04-2019)トウネン

[13] Numenius arquata (accessed on 02-04-2019)ダイシャクシギ

[5] Many of the popular movements do not remain in history (accessed on 31-03-2019)

[2] Support for the preservation of Japan's largest migration bird spot from the waste disposal site plan (accessed on 31-03-2019)

[3] History of Fujimae Tidal Flat (accessed on 31-03-2019)

[6] Fujimae Tidal Flat Problem Omnibus (accessed on 31-03-2019)第2回

[16] Ardea intermedia (accessed on 02-04-2019)チュウサギ

[10] Bridge “Fujimae Tidal Flat” Connecting Lives - Overview (accessed on 02-04-2019)

Anas acuta (accessed on 05-04-2019オナガガモ

[14] Sterna albifrons (accessed on 02-04-2019)コアジサシ

[15] Butorides striatus (accessed on 02-04-2019)ササゴイ

[17] Aythya marila (accessed on 02-04-2019)スズガモ

[18] Chroicocephalus saundersi (accessed on 02-04-2019)ズグロカモメ

[19] Population in Nagoya City (accessed on 02-04-2019)

Hujimae Tidal Flat (accessed on 05-04-2019)

Nagoya City's movement and substance in the Environmental Assessment Act (accessed on 02-04-2019)

[19] Calidris alpina (accessed on 02-04-2019)ハマシギ

[20] Pandion haliaetus (accessed on 02-04-2019)ミサゴ

[21] Phalacrocorax carbo (accessed on 02-04-2019)カワウ

[22] Ardea cinereal (accessed on 02-04-2019)アオサギ

[23] Anguilla (accessed on 02-04-2019)ウナギ

[24] Mugil cephalus (accessed on 02-04-2019)ボラ

[25] Periophthalmus (accessed on 02-04-2019)トビハゼ

[26] Macrophthalmus japonicus (accessed on 02-04-2019)ヤマトオサガニ

[27] Balanus albicostatus (accessed on 02-04-2019)シロスジフジツボ-81197

[28] Upogebia major (accessed on 02-04-2019)アナジャコ

[29] Pagurus minutus (accessed on 02-04-2019)ユビナガホンヤドカリ

[30] Corbicula japonica (accessed on 02-04-2019)ヤマトシジミ_(貝)

[31] Laternula Marilina (accessed on 02-04-2019)ソトオリガイ

[33] Nereididae (accessed on 02-04-2019)ゴカイ

[34] Haliplanella lineata (accessed on 02-04-2019)タテジマイソギンチャク

[11] Pluvialis squatarola (accessed on 02-04-2019)ダイゼン

[4] Behavior records of the association of Japanese wild birds and related organizations concerning the conservation of Fujimae Tidal Flat (1987-1996) (accessed on 2-04-2019)

[1] Fujimae Tidal Flat Reclamation Problem and Response of Local Government Labor (accessed on 31-03-2019)

[32] Assiminea lutea japonica (accessed on 02-04-2019)カワザンショウガイ-1519974

[35] Changes in the population and the amount of landfilled waste in Nagoya City from the Fujimae Abandon (accessed on 05-04-2019)

Meta information

Contributor:EnvJustice, ICTA-UAB/Natsuka Kuroda, [email protected]
Last update20/04/2019



High tide

Fujimae Tidal Flat with full tide

Platalea minor

Platalea minor which is a rare species


20,000 waterbirds come to the Fujimae Tidal Flat every year

Low tide

Fujimae Tidal Flat in a state of low tide

Upogebia major picking

State of upogebia major taking

Anajako's burrow model

The shape of the burrow obtained by pouring polyester resin into the burrow of upogebia major

Nan'you Factory

Nan'you Factory, a general waste incinerator right next to the Fujimae Tidal Flat

Whole view

Whole view

Calidris alpina

Calidris alpina

Calidris alpina 2

Calidris alpina

Anas acuta

Anas acuta