My name is Yasushiro Morioka, and I have just started my career as the President of Japan Sewage Works Agency (JS) on November 1, 2020.
Thank you for your continued understanding of JS's operations.
JS was established in November 1972 as the Sewage Works Agency Center. The purpose was to set up an organization to pool the specialized engineers needed by local governments as shared staff to respond to a shortage of sewerage engineers.
After the Japan Sewage Works Agency was established as a licensed corporation in 1975, it restarted in 2003 as the Japan Sewage Works Agency, a regional joint corporation in which local governments take the lead in business operations. JS is the only nationwide organization that supports wastewater-related operations that local governments should implement.
Today, sewerage projects have changed their structure drastically from focusing on new construction to management and renewal. On the other hand, the environment surrounding sewerage projects has become severe, with financial difficulties at both the national and local levels and a constant shortage of engineers. Also, the circulation of resources and energy and the response to global warming have joined the essential factors.
In recent years, natural disasters, including earthquakes and floods, have frequently been occurring. The torrential rain in July of 2008 caused record-breaking rainfall over a wide area from western to eastern Japan and the Tohoku region. The typhoon that hit eastern Japan in 2019 and the torrential rains in July 2008 caused many human and property damage. While sewerage facilities prevented inland flooding, they also suffered damage from inundation. The importance of responding to the threat of disasters is becoming increasingly important.
Wastewater treatment and rainwater drainage, which sewerage systems play a role in, are indispensable for people's lives and socioeconomic activities. Everyone involved in the sewerage business has a mission to make the sewerage service sustainable and improve its level.
JS is responsible for the implementation of projects entrusted by local governments, which are the sewerage administrators. We will make constant efforts to continuously provide high-level services that accurately respond to the contracting organization and communities' needs.
In 2009, JS issued a message on the "JS version of work style reform. We are working on the materialization of the reform by streamlining and upgrading operations, including introducing video conferencing systems and IT equipment for on-site management and "health management" to improve our staff's health productivity.
In 2020, we have provided all employees with tablets equipped with communication functions as a countermeasure against COCID-19. Remote meetings and teleworking have been actively introduced to prevent infection in the workplace and continue our business.
JS issued its fifth medium-term management plan in 2017. The plan has two key concepts of "comprehensive support as a sewerage solution partner" and "functions as a national sewerage center." The solution partner considers the issues faced by each entity together, proposes solutions, and plays a role in business continuity. The national sewerage center contributes to the evolution and development of the entire sewerage business. JS has been working to support the life cycle of the entire sewerage business.
Next year will be the final year of this plan. We need to challenge the changing issues surrounding sewerage and take measures with a sense of speed with a view to Japan as a whole. Our next medium-term management plan will address new needs with an eye to the future, including developing new measures such as wide-area development and collaboration, public-private partnerships, etc., responses to frequent disasters, human resource development through technological development and training, and overseas infrastructure development.
As a group of sewerage professionals, JS will continue to work as one, utilizing its strengths in technology, human resources, and management that it has accumulated since its foundation, to earn local governments' trust. We look forward to your continued guidance and encouragement.