Sanitation encompasses wastewater/stormwater, and night soil collection and treatment in a hygienic way. In most countries of the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, the wide range of activities related to sanitation is not let to one but several agencies for ensuring a comprehensive and expert management. As these agencies work separately and are often related to different ministries, their activities are not always well coordinated.

In some countries, sanitation can be also directly administered by several ministries. In that case, it is often observed that each ministry works separately without effective coordination and strong policy, and there is no administration or a weak administration tackling the problems related to on-site sanitation. In addition, sanitation utilities are usually managed by municipalities in rural or urban areas, and consequently, capacity building can be an important challenge.

In Japan, even if sanitation is mainly managed by two ministries (that is, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism for off-site sanitation; and the Ministry of the Environment for on-site sanitation), they have been successful in dealing with the issues related to public health and the pollution of public water bodies in a relatively short period of time. Since Japan’s experience is unique in the Asia and Pacific region, we believe that the policies, regulations, management systems, administration and technologies that have been developed in this country would be beneficial for other nations experiencing sanitation problems.

Established in 2009, JSC promotes the diffusion of basic sanitation (toilets) and systems that will offer safe wastewater, night soil and sludge collection and treatment. As it considers both on-site and off-site sanitation, JSC is a unique organization that combines, through its four member organizations – the agencies that have been successfully managing wastewater, sludge and night soil treatment in Japan for more than 40 years –, a comprehensive knowledge and experience in policy making, system management, operation and maintenance.

JSC works closely with professionals from academia, ministries, partner organizations and NGOs, such as the Japan Water Forum, JWF; the Japan Institute of Wastewater Technology, JIWET; the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Tokyo Office; and the Japan Toilet Labo. JSC secretariat consists of sanitation experts from the four agencies described below. Through our activities, we actively collaborate with international donor organizations, such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), as well as local organizations.

JSC member organizations are:

  • On-site sanitation:
    • Japan Environmental Sanitation Center (JESC): in charge of night soil collection and treatment management in Japan (for more information about JESC, please click here)
    • Japan Education Center of Environmental Sanitation (JECES): manages the johkasou system in Japan (for more information about JECES, please click here)
  • Off-site sanitation:
    • Sewerage Business Management Centre (SBMC): conducts human resource development training in sewage works (for more information about SBMC, please click here)
    • Japan Sewage Works Association (JSWA): executes sewage works research and collaborates with local governments to develop sewage works policy in Japan (for more information about JSWA, please click here)
    • Japan Sewage Works Agency (JS): ensures sewage works training for engineers/operators, research and technology development; plans, designs and constructs WWTPs in Japan (for more information about JS, please click here)

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