New Year Greetings for 2015

Hirozo Mihashi

At the beginning of 2015, I wish you members of Japan Concrete Institute (JCI) a happy and prosperous New Year.

I am pleased to announce that we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of JCI this year. We are planning international conferences and anniversary events including a memorial ceremony on July 12th and to publish commemorative publications in 2015. I am profoundly grateful for JCI's position which has been attained by the efforts of many members for 50 years, and I would like to continue developing concrete technology together with all members of JCI.

The January issue of JCI bulletin, CONCRETE JOURNAL, will feature the restoration from the Great East Japan earthquake and the contributions of concrete technology for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics 2020. The Tokyo Olympics of 1964, provided the modern framework for such structures as the bullet train "Shinkansen", the expressway, and other infrastructure items that symbolize the restoration of Japan burned out by World War II.

Concrete technology has fulfilled a central role in the development of our country with rapid economic growth. However, on the other hand, we are facing significant problems such as deterioration, and the operation and maintenance of the infrastructure, which has been built with years of effort. Furthermore, we have suffered large scale natural disasters such as major earthquakes, a Tsunami, and sediment disasters caused by heavy rain in recent years. The reconstruction of the disaster regions, so that our society can live in safety and security, has more than ever before emphasized the important role and duty of concrete technology.

I was awed by the power of nature when many concrete structures were swept away by such a large Tsunami caused by the Great East Japan earthquake. On the other hand, I cannot forget that many concrete buildings withstood the Tsunami and saved the lives of many people in a coastal area filled with heaps of wreckage. The Great Hanshin earthquake, which occurred in January 1995, ruined many concrete structures by its large quake. However, many of the newer structures, which were built or reinforced under the current seismic design methods, escaped significant damage in the Great East Japan earthquake. In accordance with these design methods and the latest technology, the current concrete technology will provide a significant role in the reconstruction efforts of the Great East Japan earthquake and the building of new infrastructure for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics 2020. Engineers certified by JCI will play an important part in the field of concrete technology.

There is a large task to maintain the existing concrete structures which may deteriorate in the near future. JCI published "The Guidelines for Performance Assessment of Existing Concrete Structures" in November 2014. In addition, the special committee on operation, maintenance, and the technology of repair and compensation for existing concrete structures, which has been active for two years, will provide a production report in 2015. The guidelines and the production report will help many engineers including authorized Concrete Diagnosis & Maintenance to build our society where we can live safely and securely.

In conclusion I would appreciate it if you would support and cooperate with us for the further development of JCI this coming year.

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