Winifred Bird, reporting for Yale e360:
The roots of the coastal land-use debate go deep. People first began moving from higher elevations down toward Japan’s seashore, which offered rare expanses of flat land, at the beginning of the Edo period (1603-1868), Seino says. “Over a period of 400 years Japanese moved further and further into these dangerous areas, as modernization allowed for more public works projects,” she explains. “[Today], by law, the land management concept is to claim everything down to the high-tide line as human territory.”
It’s a stark contrast to the many hills that dot the costal plains, which stood out stood out on my recent trip as largely free of development.