The Sabo(Erosion Control)Act and the River Act, which date back to 1897 and 1896 respectively, constitute a basic legal framework for water]related disaster prevention policies in Japan. Added to the Forest Act, legislated in 1897, they have sometimes been labelled “ three acts on flood control ". Being one of the oldest piece of Japanese legislation in effect, the Sabo Act preserves, for the most part, its original contents and style, but the historical facts and circumstances which led to its enactment remain overall unclear. Referring to the process of the enactment of the River and Forest Acts and the political and economic background in that era, this study seeks to clarify the significance of the institution of the Sabo Act, which includes integration of flood control policies in lower and upper reaches of rivers, incorporation of regulatory measures to Sabo scheme and facilitation of financial aid to local authorities.
Key wordsFSabo Act, River Act, Forest Act, national territory conservation