- Tokyo Geographical Society
- 地学雑誌 (ISSN:0022135X)
- vol.116, no.5, pp.593-626, 2007-10-25 (Released:2009-11-12)
The Tokyo Lowland situated in the eastern part of Tokyo Metropolis was composed of extensive paddy fields until the end of the Edo era in 1868, then became a major industrial area from the beginning of the Meiji era due to the industrialization project of the early Meiji Government. The purpose of this paper is to clarify the changes in the industrial area in the Lowland since the beginning of the Meiji era, and to investigate the recent use of former factory sites following the relocation and closing of factories since around 1960.In the early part of the Meiji era, the industrial area only occupied the western part of the Lowland, the estuary of the Sumida River, and the junction of the Shakujii River and the Sumida River, and the main factories belonged to the shipbuilding and military industries. Then, over the period of two major wars, Shino-Japanese War (1894-1895) and Russio-Japanese War (1904-1905), the industrial area continued to be enlarged. At the end of the Meiji era, in 1912, many factories were developed along canals throughout the Kohtoh Area. Furthermore, the industrial area was developed throughout the Lowland during the period straddling World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1941-1945).Although the industrial activity in the Lowland stopped for a several years from the end of the World War II in 1945, it started again with the outbreak of the Korean War, in 1950, and advanced remarkably mainly in the heavy and chemical sectors.However, this extreme industrial development brought to the Lowland the overpopulation and the public nuisances such as air-pollution, noise, and vibration from plants and manufacturing sites. To reduce these problems, the National Government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government took such measurements as restricting the construction of new factories and strengthening regulations on the operations of factories. The regulations to prevent public nuisances were very costly to factory operators.As a result, the number of factories in the Lowland stopped increasing around 1960, and the number decreased rapidly from 1961 to 1975 because of relocation to other countries or ceasing manufacturing operations.Many former factory sites have been converted to other uses, mainly facilities for citizens such as condominiums, general residential areas, parking lots, schools, and parks. In particular, mainly at the sites of former metal industry, timber, and chemical industries, conversion to residential quarters has been remarkable. Among the new uses changed from former factory sites, the residential use occupies more than 50%.However, the change in land use from former factory sites to a residential quarter has brought problems throughout the Lowland area such the blocking of sunlight to existing houses due to the construction of housing complexes, and soil pollution caused by past industry activity. To reduce the problem of the blocking of sunlight to existing houses, each ward government has regulated the construction of housing complexes, and to reduce the problem of soil pollution, the National Government has promulgated the Soil Contamination Countermeasures Law.In addition to these problems, the extension of the subway network to the Lowland area in recent years has promoted an expansion of the residential quarter. This rapid expansion has led to a shortage of public institutions such as elementary and junior high schools. Furthermore, most of the Lowland area is permanently below sea level due to land subsidence, although the land is protected by extensive dikes and drainage systems to prevent disasters related to high tides and flooding.It is essential to solve these problems related to land use in this Lowland area.