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The views expressed in this presentation are the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the

views or policies of the Asian Development
Bank Institute (ADBI), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), its Board of Directors, or the governments they represent. ADBI does not guarantee the
accuracy of the data included in this paper and accepts no responsibility for any consequences of their use. Terminology used may not necessarily
be consistent with ADB official terms.

Institutional Mechanisms for
Sustainable Sanitation:
Lessons from Japan for other
Asian countries

Sept.21, 2018, ADBI
Kazushi HASHIMOTO
Adviser
Japan Sanitation
Consortium (JSC)
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1. Current situation of decentralized
wastewater management in the urban
areas of Asian developing countries
(1)Water pollution in Asian developing countries
(2)Prevailing decentralized wastewater treatment systems
with poor or variable performances
(3)Improper installation of decentralized wastewater
treatment systems
(4)Lack of sludge management, indispensable for sound
decentralized wastewater management
(5)Unregulated and insufficient number of desludging
operators
(6)Improper operation and maintenance of decentralized
wastewater treatment systems for non household users
(7)Lack, or underutilization, of sludge treatment capacity 2
2. Japan’s decentralized wastewater
management system
[1] Evolution of decentralized
wastewater management in Japan
(1) Achievement in sanitation – night
soil treatment (1950-60s)
In Japan, the night soil storage tank was the traditional
sanitation facility.
1,100 night soil treatment plants were built in 1950-60s,
which contributed to the almost complete elimination of
water born diseases (Cholera, Shigellosis, Typhoid) by 1970.

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(2) Achievement in sanitation – spread
of flush toilet (1970s)
During the rapid economic growth starting in late 1950s,
housing boom occurred and people demand flush toilet.
The Packaged Aerated Wastewater Treatment Plant
(PAWTP) became a prominent measure for the
dissemination of flush toilets and the sanitation
improvement together with the sewerage system in 1970s.
The PAWTP at the time treated only black water.

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(3) From sanitation to wastewater
management based on the PAWTP
(1980s-now)
From early 1980s, the pollution This was attributed to;
of public water bodies caused (1) The delay of public
by the untreated domestic sewerage
wastewater, e.g., problem of implementation.
eutrophication, became highly (2) Untreated domestic
visible, particularly in closed non-fecal
water areas. wastewater (grey
water).
(3) Improper installation
and/or maintenance
of the PAWTP black
water only-type.
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Enactment of PAWTP(Johkasou) Act in 1983
- An overhaul of Japan’s decentralized
wastewater management system -

Diffusion of the PAWTPs for both black and grey water.

Establishment of the legal basis for manufacturing,
installation, maintenance, desludging and inspection of
decentralized wastewater treatment systems.

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2. Japan’s decentralized wastewater
management system
[2] Lessons learnt from Japan’s
experience
• Improved access to sanitation accompanied by the
proper sludge management would contribute greatly to
the improvement of people’s health.
• Improvement of access to sanitation facilities does not
necessarily lead to the improvement of aquatic
environment. Improper decentralized wastewater
management would cause water pollution.
• If the manufacturers, installation business, desludging
business and O&M business are not properly
regulated nor trained, they would do wrong and would
cause water pollution.
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2. Japan’s decentralized wastewater
management system

[3] How does it work?

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(1) Regulating all the aspects of
decentralized wastewater management in
order to prevent the pollution caused by
decentralized system
• In Japan, centralized system (sewerage systems) are
expected to play a central role for the clean-up of
rivers and other public water bodies.
• Even when there is no other choice than installing
decentralized systems, manufacturing, installation,
operation and maintenance (O&M), desludging and
inspection of decentralized systems are strictly
regulated by the Johkasou Act (PAWTP Act) (1983)
and other related regulations, which ensure that the
decentralized systems do not cause pollution in public
water bodies.
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(2) Structural standards, government
approval and performance testing system
for ensuring good performance of
decentralized wastewater treatment plants
• In Japan, a corporate body that intends to manufacture
PAWTP in factory must receive an approval issued by
the Central Government for the types of PAWTP to be
manufactured. Such approval is issued when the
application for these plants meets the Structural
Standard of the targeted PAWTPs prescribed in the
Building Standards Law.
• If a manufacturer intends to manufacture a new type of
PAWTP which does not meet the Structural Standard,
the performance of this new type of PAWTP must be
tested by a Designated Testing Institution.
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(3) Registration system for the Installation
Business;
Certification and Examination system for
the Installation Workers;
in order to ensure proper installation of
decentralized wastewater treatment plants
• In Japan, the persons who want to manage a PAWTP
Construction Vendor are subject to registration with the
prefectural Governor.
• The PAWTP Construction Vendor must assign a PAWTP
Installation Worker in each place of business.
• The license for such workers is issued to those who have
passed the examination for PAWTP Installation Workers
administered by the Designated Examining Agency.
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(4) Regular desludging obligation of the
owner or user of decentralized
wastewater treatment plants
• The owner or user of a PAWTP installed in a house or
building and who is authorized to manage this facility,
is , under the PAWTP Act, legally designated as the
‘PAWTP (Johkasou) Manager’.
• The PAWTP Act mandates these managers to
desludge their PAWTP once a year, work that can be
entrusted to a PAWTP Desludging Vendor.

Desludging work
of small scale
PAWTP for a
household

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(5) Approval system of desludging
vendors in order to ensure proper
desludging operations, while providing
job opportunity and social status for
this profession
• A corporate body that intends to join PAWTP
desludging business needs to obtain the approval of
the Mayor of the municipality targeted to this business.
• This approval may be for a limited period and is issued
if the desludging equipment and the applicant capacity
as the PAWTP Desludging Vendor conform to the
Technical Standards prescribed by Ministerial
Ordinance.
• The applicant must also show no record of violating the
PAWTP Act during the 2 years preceding the
application. 13
(6) User (Owner)’s legal obligation for O&M;
Technical Supervisor for large scale PAWTP;
Registration system for O&M Vendors;
in order to ensure proper O/M of decentralized
wastewater treatment plants
• The PAWTP Act requires the PAWTP Managers to
operate and maintain their PAWTP in conformance with
the frequencies specified in the Ministerial Ordinance.
(once in every 4 months for small scale PAWTP; more
frequent intervals for medium and large scale PAWTPs
for commercial buildings)
• The PAWTP Manager may entrust the O&M works to the
registered PAWTP Maintenance Vendors.
• The PAWTP manager must deploy the qualified PAWTP
Technical Supervisor for the O&M and desludging of their
PAWTP when the number of users exceeds 500 PE
(population equivalent). 14
(7) Certification and Examination system
for the O&M technicians in order to secure
the qualified human resources required for
the decentralized wastewater management
• The PAWTP Maintenance Vendor is required to use
the certified PAWTP Operator in the actual O&M work
of PAWTPs.
• To be certified, the PAWTP Operator need to pass the
PAWTP Operator Examination or complete a training
course administered by the Designated Training
Institution, that is The Japan Education Center for
Environmental Sanitation (JECES).
O&M work of O&M work of
small scale large scale
PAWTP PAWTP

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Japan Education Center for Environmental
Sanitation (JECES)
• In 1966, Japan Education Center for Environmental
Sanitation (JECES) was established to provide
training for professionals in the business related to
PAWTP (Johkasou).
• Legal status: Public Interest Incorporated Foundation
• In 1984 and 1985, national examinations for PAWTP
Operators and PAWTP Installation Workers started.
• JECES was appointed as the
agency for training courses and
the agency for the examinations
by the PAWTP Act.

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In Japan, through the examinations and the
training courses administered by JECES, more
than 3,000 PAWTP technicians newly join the
PAWTP business every year.
(Table) Number of professionals engaged in the businesses related to the
management of Decentralized Wastewater Management (On-site) System in Japan
Number of
Certified technicians registrants Business content Legal basis
PAWTP Operators 80,042 Operation & maintenance
PAWTP Installation PAWPT Act
Workers 86,595 Installation/ construction
PAWTP Technical Management of johkasou with
Supervisor 29,794 501 PE or more
PAWTP Desludging Ordinance of
Technicians 16,021 Desludging PAWTP Act
Registered PAWTP PAWTP inspection and water
Inspectors 1,280 quality examination
Total 213,732

(as of March 31, 2016)
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Environmental Effects of Japan’s
Decentralized Wastewater Management
System
85.0% of PAWTPs BOD>60mg/L
(Black/grey water type) of BOD<60mg/L
which the effluent water
quality were inspected during BOD<30mg/L
FY 2013, produced the
effluent BOD<20mg/L which
meets the structural standards BOD<20mg BOD<5mg/L
of PAWTP (Black/grey water
type). BOD<15mg/L
Source: Ministry of the Environment, Japan, 2013

BOD<10mg/L

Effluent BOD concentrations 18
Thank you for your attention!
Kz-hashimoto@yachiyo-eng.co.jp

Together with the ‘People’ who actually work for the improvement
of Japan’s decentralized wastewater management system
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