Code of Ethics for Civil Engineers



1.     In March of 1938, the Japan Society of Civil Engineers promulgated "the Beliefs and Principles of Practice for Civil Engineers."  This had initially been prepared in February of 1933 and was later codified by an entrusted committee on mutual rules of the Japan Society of Civil Engineers (the Chairman was Dr. Akira Aoyama, an ex-president of the Society).  In 1933, Japan declared its withdrawal from the League of Nations, a turning point prior to the later Lukouchiano (Marco Polo Bridge) Incident that led to War with China and the Pacific War.  Despite the trends of such an era, the Japan Society of Civil Engineers is proud of its insight to stipulate its "Beliefs and Principles of Practice for Civil Engineers".

2.     The Japan Society of Civil Engineers is composed of engineers who carry out civil engineering work and researchers who study the relating subjects.  Its members are obliged to strive for: 1) mutual collaboration among its members; 2) contribution to the progress of science and technology; and 3) direct contribution to civil societies.

        The Society has renewed "the Beliefs and Principles of Practice for Civil Engineers" into the Code of Ethics, solely because the Society has recognized the increasing importance of the mission and the emerging responsibility shouldered by civil engineers today and in the future.

Basic Perceptions:

1.     From the dawn of human history till the present day, civil engineering has contributed to ensuring human beingsf safety and enriching their quality of life through constructing, maintaining, and managing social overhead capital.  The current industrial civilization has especially been supported by great technological achievements, which has remarkably improved the lives of mankind.  However, along with the expansion and diversification of technological advancement, the influence caused by these phenomena upon nature and societies has drastically increased in its complexity and magnitude.  Civil engineers should deeply recognize these facts and adhere to the ethical principles of self-disciplined moral obligation when applying advanced technology.

2.     The present generation is responsible for ensuring the sustainability of life-supporting conditions for generations to come.  It is an honorable mission for the present civil engineers to create and preserve the environment that enhances the coexistence of nature and mankind.


Code of Ethics

A Civil Engineer Shall

1.     Apply his/her technical skills to create, improve, and maintain "beautiful national land," "safe and comfortable livelihood," and "prosperous society", thus contributing to society through his/her knowledge and virtue with an emphasis upon his/her dignity and honor.

2.     Respect nature while giving the highest priority to the safety, welfare, and health of generations today and in the future, and shall endeavor to preserve and work with nature and the global environment for the sustainable development of mankind.

3.     Value traditional technology rooted in indigenous cultures, engage in research and development of advanced technology, promote international cooperation, deepen mutual understanding of other cultures, and enhance welfare and safety of human beings.

4.     Perform civil engineering work from a broad perspective based on his/her specialized expertise and experience regardless of his/her organizational affiliation.

5.     Publish reports and express opinions based on his/her accumulated expertise and experience, and live up to his/her own beliefs and conscience.

6.     Disclose all relevant information concerning public safety, health, welfare, and sustainable global development, in an effort to carry out irreversible civil engineering work that is of long-term and large-scale in nature.

7.     Keep a fair and impartial attitude to the public, clients of civil engineering work, and himself/herself while performing work sincerely.

8.     Act as an honest agent or trustee of the employer or client in regard to technical work.

9.     Treat everyone fairly without any discrimination against race, religion, sex, or age.

10.   Perform work in compliance with applicable laws, ordinances, rules & regulations, contracts, and other standards, and shall not give, ask, nor receive directly or indirectly any undue compensation.

11.       Understand the function, forms, and structural characteristics of civil engineering facilities and structures.  In their planning, design, construction, maintenance, and disposal, apply not only advanced technology but traditional technology as well while preserving the ecosystem and the beauty it contains, while staying mindful to preserve historical heritage.

12.   Strive to enhance his/her own expertise, study diligently concepts and engineering methods, and contribute to technological development through informing academic societies of the results of these efforts.

13.   Endeavor to cultivate human resources by effectively utilizing his/her own personality, knowledge, and experience while providing support for others to enhance their professional proficiency.

14.   Actively explain the significance and role of his/her own work and respond sincerely to any criticism of such explanation.  Further, evaluate objectively the work completed by himself/herself and by others, and express positively individual opinions.

15.   Live up to the Code of Ethics stipulated by the Society while continuously seeking to enhance the social status of civil engineers.  In particular, members of the Society shall take the initiative of professional dignity by observing this Code of Ethics.


(Promulgated on May 7, 1999, by the Board of Directors, the Japan Society of Civil Engineers)