我が国鉱業の現状と21世紀の展望 [in Japanese] The History of Mining in Japan and its Prospects for the 21st Century [in Japanese]
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A historical review of the mining industry in Japan illustrates the important contribution that mining has made to human civilization. In ancient Japan, as in ancient China or Europe, the function of mining in shaping society was as crucial as the role played by agriculture. The discovery and extraction of metals from the Earth, led to innovation in technologies to make use of these metals and prompted the development of civilization itself. Control of the mines was linked to political power, as well as civil cultures, and with so many people depending upon mining for their livelihoods, it has even been claimed, "The history of mining, is the history of civilization." Naturally, the virtual cessation of domestic mining has severely affected the Japanese Mining Industry. However, history shows that the mining industry has had a hard voyage so far, and it has been tossed around on the waves of good and bad times. Today's difficulty is nothing more than one of these troughs. Internationalization of the economic climate and an increased awareness of environmental concerns, together with rapid advances in mechatronics and other associated fields have already started to propel the mining industry back up onto the highest of those waves. In addition to this, the implementation of a clear national policy and an effective strategy to secure the supply of mineral resources will give the mining industry a new lease of life for unlimited growth, as it evolves to meet the demands of the 21st Century.
- Journal of MMIJ
Journal of MMIJ 114(6), 389-396, 1998-06-25
The Mining and Materials Processing Institute of Japan