Without much fanfare, one of the most ambitious reclamation projects ever undertaken in the world is in progress within a few minutes drive of the busy streets of Sakai immediately south of Osaka. Day and night, rain or shine, thousands of tons of slime are daily sucked from the sea bod and gush into the air at the end of a long train of giant pipes.
Among a few thousand workers engaged in the massive reclamation work are a team of 16 American dredging engineers.
Beyond the sweep of new land are assembled about 40 dredges, which account for nearly half of the nation's total dredging capacity. The flagship of this powerful but motionless armada is Utah's dredge, "Alameda". The rugged vessel, whose interior is a buzzing workshop, has been chartered by the Japan Industrial Land Development Co. (JILD).
Sharing the "flagship" responsibility is the "Kokuei Maru", sister ship to the "Alameda". This vessel was built at Mitsubishi ship- yard in 1962 through technical