Abandoned pleasure boats
The demand for pleasure boats in Japan is increasing as the Japanese people start spending more time for leisure and such boats become more affordable. However, lack of facilities for mooring and storing pleasure boats has subsequently increased the number of such boats left in public water, including harbors, fishing ports, and rivers, creating a new social problem. In 1996, a joint research conducted by the Ministries of Transport and Construction, and the Fisheries Agency, identified approximately 208,000 pleasure boats in harbors, fishing ports, and rivers, 138,000 of which were left without permission. To deal with this issue, the government has taken steps to increase the capacity of public and private marinas to handle abandoned boats and is promoting the development of boast parks, simple mooring and storage facilities.
Creating environmentally friendly ports: eco-ports
Amidst heightening awareness of the environment in and out of Japan, there is a need to create environmentally friendly ports, so-called eco-ports, that pay due consideration to specific creatures and the ecosystem in general. They must offer full amenities, but remain in harmony with the natural environment. Projects now underway will promote the development of port environments by, for example, laying in sand to improve the quality of water and seabeds, creating tidelands, and developing greenery. To quickly complete a project to serve as a model for the rest of the nation, the government has specified model ports and districts and model projects, and is selectively proceeding with eco-port model projects to develop a comprehensive approach to environmental infrastructures. Other steps being taken include efforts to establish technologies for creating tidelands and seaweed bed, and for purifying seawater through seawater exchange.