The 20th Century witnessed Japan enduring numerous pollution cases. The Tone River basin, the ground of our environmental revival actions, suffered Japan’s largest pollution case, the “Ashio Mine Pollution” 100 years ago. The modernization-oriented government excessively set industrial production above the environmental provision, which resulted in a massive scale of environmental destruction and human right invasion. Criticizing the government’s stance, TANAKA Shozo led the first-ever environmental conservation movement in Japan. Nevertheless, a number of development projects, one after another, went on destroying the ecosystem of the Tone River basin.
The Asaza Project and the Watarase Future Project are public works initiated by community members, which aim to restore the long-damaged ecosystem of the Tone River basin and to work toward creating a cyclical society in harmony with nature. Our activities are based, first, on the two typical wetlands in the Tone River basin (16,840 km), that is Lake Kasumigaura (with a surface area of 220 km2 and a catchment area of 2,200 km2) and the Watarase Reservoir, and, second, on the Ashio Mountains (3,000 ha) which sport the largest reforestation project in Japan.