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Latest news - OPRI-SPF Joins the "East China Sea and Yellow Sea Studies Think-tank Alliance" [2019年01月09日(Wed)]

Beijing 2.PNG
View of the signing ceremony.
(L) Dr. Atsushi Sunami, Executive Director of SPF and
President of OPRI-SPF
(R) Dr. Zhang Haiwen, Director General of the China
Institute for Marine Affairs (CIMA), State Oceanic
Administration (SOA)

The Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa
Peace Foundation (OPRI-SPF) joined the "East China
Sea and Yellow Sea Studies Think-tank Alliance" on
December 21, 2018, following a signing ceremony
in Beijing attended by Dr. Atsushi Sunami, Executive
Director of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and
President of OPRI-SPF.

The Alliance was established in November 2017 as
a network of ocean and maritime research institutes
in East Asia under the initiative of the China Institute
for Marine Affairs, SOA, based on the idea for
creation of an “East Asia Maritime Cooperation
Platform” raised by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at
the Ninth East Asia Summit in 2014. It has the
objective of creating a Track-2 level cooperation
platform for ocean and maritime research institutes
in the coastal countries and regions of the East
China Sea and Yellow Sea, promoting communication
among them, and making efforts on various ocean
and maritime related issues in the East China Sea
and Yellow Sea.

For more information, please see the article here.

Posted by OPRI at 15:00 | この記事のURL | コメント(0)
Ocean Newsletter No.442 (Jan. 5, 2019) [2019年01月07日(Mon)]

The Ocean Policy Research Institute (OPRI) is
pleased to announce its latest English publication,
as part of its efforts to disseminate information on
ocean issues both in and outside Japan.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

OPRI publishes a Japanese-language newsletter
called the "Ocean Newsletter" twice a month, with
the aim of providing people of different viewpoints
and backgrounds with a forum for discussion and to
contribute to the formulation of maritime policies
conducive to coexistence between mankind and
the ocean.

Please find the latest English article in our
newsletter below.

WMU GOI.jpg

No. 442 (Jan. 5, 2019)
The World Maritime University−Sasakawa
Global Ocean Institute: A New Institute in a
Unique University


Ronan LONG
(Director, WMU–Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute,
World Maritime University)

It is our sincere hope that the article will provide
useful insights on policy debate in Japan and help to
foster global policy dialogue on various ocean issues.

Posted by OPRI at 15:00 | この記事のURL | コメント(0)
Latest news - Oceans Action Day at UNFCCC-COP24 [2018年12月26日(Wed)]

Photo 5.jpg

The Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa
Peace Foundation (OPRI-SPF) hosted the “Oceans
Action Day” event on December 8, 2018, during the
24th Conference of Parties to the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC-COP24), attracting around 400
participants.

Oceans Action Day has been held annually since
2015 as a special event to discuss issues related
to the oceans and climate, co-organized with the
Global Ocean Forum (GOF), Oceano Azul
Foundation, Intergovernmental Oceanographic
Commission of UNESCO (UNESCO-IOC), among
others.

This year, under the theme of the “oceans and
climate nexus,” more than 60 speakers involved in
climate change and the oceans from international
agencies, governments, research institutes, NGOs,
and others, gathered for effective discussion from
the point of view of the oceans regarding issues
including mitigation and adaptation to climate
change, scientific knowledge, financing mechanisms,
and displacement.

For a brief photo summary of OPRI's participation in
Oceans Action Day at COP24, please see here.

For more information on Oceans Action Day, please
see the report provided by the Earth Negotiations
Bulletin here.

Posted by OPRI at 15:00 | この記事のURL | コメント(0)
Latest News - English Edition of the "Ocean White Paper 2018" Now Available [2018年12月19日(Wed)]

The Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa
Peace Foundation (OPRI-SPF) is pleased to present
the English edition of the “White Paper on the
Oceans and Ocean Policy in Japan 2018,” featuring
selected articles by OPRI-SPF scholars and other
experts.

Please click the image below for the English edition,
entitled “Selections: White Paper on the Oceans and
Ocean Policy in Japan 2018.”

Ocean White Paper 2018.jpg

For more information, please see the article below.
English Edition of the “Ocean White Paper
2018” Now Available


Posted by OPRI at 15:00 | この記事のURL | コメント(0)
Latest news - OPRI President Atsushi Sunami Named to Arctic Circle Advisory Board [2018年12月05日(Wed)]

北極サークル Arctic Circle.jpg

Dr. Atsushi Sunami, President of the Ocean Policy
Research of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation
(OPRI-SPF) and Executive Director of SPF, was
named to the Advisory Board of the Arctic Circle,
the largest international conference to discuss
Arctic-related issues, on October 18, 2018.

For more information, please see the article below.
OPRI President Atsushi Sunami Named to
Arctic Circle Advisory Board


Posted by OPRI at 13:34 | この記事のURL | コメント(0)
Ocean Jigsaw Puzzle Piece Series: Thoughts on the “Workshop on Arctic Governance in Tokyo" – Expectations for Japan regarding Arctic Issues [2018年10月17日(Wed)]

This blog was originally uploaded in Japanese
to OPRI's blog
on March 12, 2018.

---

The Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa
Peace Foundation (OPRI-SPF), with co-organizers
The Nippon Foundation and the National Graduate
Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), hosted the
“Workshop on Arctic Governance in Tokyo
2018”
for two days on February 8 and 9, 2018.
The purpose of the workshop was to invite experts
on Arctic issues from overseas to discuss what
Asian countries, including Japan, can do for the
Arctic region from their diverse perspectives.
It was the second workshop following the first held
last year, and had many prominent individuals in
attendance. One of the reasons behind this would
be that the world is expecting Japan to do more
on Arctic issues.

The key person among the invited experts was H.E.
Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, former President of Iceland.
He is currently the chairman of the Arctic Circle, an
international conference considered to be the Arctic
version of the Davos Forum. It is no exaggeration to
say that he is the most influential person in the
world when it comes to Arctic issues. I participated
in the Arctic Circle for the first time when it was held
in Iceland in October of last year, and I was
fortunate to be able to meet Mr. Grímsson in person.

At that time, he said that Japan has not stood out
in the Arctic Circle and insisted that it should become
as involved as the other Asian countries. This does
not mean that there were not many Japanese
people participating in the assembly, but he might
have felt that Japan had not stood out because
there were not many sessions led by Japanese
speakers as compared to those from other Asian
countries, such as China and Korea. In particular,
all eyes of the world have been on the connection
between China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the
Arctic these days. News about China has thus
been in the spotlight, which might have given
him such an impression about Japan.

酒井1.jpg
H.E. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, former President of
Iceland, gives a speech at the “Workshop on
Arctic Governance in Tokyo 2018”

酒井2.png
Arctic Circle brochure (Front page)

Therefore, I told him that our institute was holding
an international workshop on Arctic governance in
February in Tokyo and suggested that he come to
Japan to participate in the workshop and have an
opportunity to discuss issues directly with Japanese
officials and experts. He immediately said yes.
After Mr. Grímsson’s participation became highly
likely, a number of prominent people from other
countries began to show interest, making the
workshop very successful as a result.
Regrettably, the workshop was a closed meeting for
participants only, so I cannot mention in detail what
was discussed. However, I would like to write about
what the Arctic countries think about Japan being
involved in Arctic issues.

In summary, all experts from the Arctic countries
believe that the stability of the Arctic region is the
most important issue. The Arctic remaining peaceful
and stable is important not only for the Arctic
countries but also for other countries.
However, the viewpoints differ depending on the
country. For Japanese people, the Arctic is a
far-away place. It is like the garden of someone who
lives in a different country. Therefore, we tend to
have the viewpoint of bystanders.

However, if we see the issue from the viewpoint of
the Arctic countries, not just the large ones but
even the small ones, we realize that the role of
Japan has a different significance to them.
Unlike Antarctica, there are many countries in the
Arctic region, and the relationship among these
countries largely affects the stability of the region.
During the Cold War, the power of the United States
and Russia --two superpowers-- and the ice-covered
ocean prevented access to other countries, and this
played a major role in keeping the region stable for
a long time. When the Cold War ended, the main
source of stability in the region changed to the
governance system among the eight countries of
the Arctic region, namely the Arctic Council.
In addition, as the amount of sea ice is reduced due
to global warming, the Arctic has become an
ordinary ocean that anyone can access.
This evoked interest from other countries,
including Asian countries.

Today, it is generally understood that the Arctic is
governed in accordance with international law, such
as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the
Sea (UNCLOS). However, there seems to be a
difference in the understanding of regional stability
among the eight countries, depending on their
standpoints. Officials and experts from the eight
countries participated in the workshop, so we were
able to hear their opinions from their individual
standpoints. Of course their opinions included not
just opinions which represent their country but also
their own personal opinions. However, in general,
all of the countries think that it is important for the
United States and Russia to maintain a constructive
and cooperative relationship.

On the other hand, it was pointed out that the
balance of the two superpowers regarding the Arctic
has been changing. Some thought otherwise, so
they were unable to agree; but various opinions
were exchanged on how to respond to the change
and how to include Asian countries. Speaking about
Asia, considerable attention was given to the idea of
the “Polar Silk Road” as part of China’s Belt and Road
Initiative, though there was both enthusiasm and
skepticism for the idea among the participants.

酒井3.jpg
Open session at the workshop

During the workshop, I felt that three types of
balance were important when thinking about the
stability of the region: (1) balance within the Arctic
region (2) balance between the Arctic region and
Asian countries, and (3) balance among Asian
countries. I will not discuss the evaluation of the
Arctic Council, the current governing system, but
there are both small and large countries among the
eight countries that comprise the Council.
Some are close to the Arctic Ocean, and others
are not. So, the condition of each country varies,
and their viewpoints toward Arctic stability are
different. Some insist that Arctic governance should
be decided by the countries of the region, and some
insist that they should let other countries be involved
if a change is likely in the balance of the relationship
between the United States and Russia. Some think
that if a country becomes too prominent among the
countries which regional authorities have allowed to
be involved, they should let other countries from
other areas be involved in order to neutralize that
power. Also, there was a suggestion to utilize
private frameworks more often. Regardless, it is
clear that Asian countries’ involvement has already
become a factor that will have a large impact on
Arctic issues.

In Japan, a new Basic Plan on Ocean Policy will be
established shortly, and I understand an independent
article on Arctic issues has recently been formulated.
When Japan makes detailed plans on how to become
involved with Arctic issues, it is important to consider
which of the above-mentioned three factors applies
to each of the plans and check the plans again by
focusing on the viewpoint of each country.
It is important not to consider the Arctic countries as
one, but to decide which country needs which kind of
cooperation. We need to have an overall picture
while maintaining a relationship with each country.
Japan needs to become involved in order to maintain
a balance since the presence of Asia has increased in
the Arctic. I want to emphasize again that we need
to firmly understand what the countries expect us
to do.

While listening to the discussions, I was thinking
about why Mr. Grímsson wanted Japan to become
more involved and why he decided to come all the
way to Japan. Considering the situation that Iceland
is currently in, I now have a better understanding of
the reasons.

Eiji Sakai

Director,
Ocean Policy Planning and Management Department


Posted by OPRI at 15:00 | この記事のURL | コメント(0)
Ocean Jigsaw Puzzle Piece Series: Establishing a Sea Grant Project in Japan (Part 1) [2018年09月20日(Thu)]

This blog post was originally uploaded in
Japanese to OPRI's blog
on April 18, 2018.

---

In this article, I would like to write about the Sea
Grant Programs implemented in the United States
and Korea and discuss whether we can establish a
similar program in Japan. I have chosen to divide
my analysis of the program into two parts.
In this first part, I will present a short discussion
on the topic following an introduction of the
program implemented in the U.S.

-Sea Grant Programs in the United States-

Have you heard of programs called “Sea Grants”?
In the US, Sea Grant Programs (SGPs) have been
supporting locally rooted marine industries and
environmental conservation activities through
grants to universities, for about 50 years on a
cross-sectoral basis. Thirty-three programs are
in place across the United States, including the
Great Lakes, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

An SGP is a support project sponsored by the federal
government based on an act called the National Sea
Grant College Program Act enacted in 1966.
It promotes marine-specific education, research and
extension at universities. Initially, the main target
was the development of fishery resources.
However, in recent years, they have extended their
activities to the development of renewable energies,
such as offshore wind farms, disaster prevention
(for high tides and oil spills) and tourism promotion,
depending on the situation in each region.
They are working to solve multiple issues in the
coastal areas. There are 33 programs all over the
U.S., including in Alaska and Hawaii.
The annual budget of the federal government is
68 million dollars, and the programs have created
economic benefits of approximately 8.5 times that
amount to the areas.

角田1.PNG
The SGP spread all over the United States.
(Source: U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) website)

One of the features of the programs implemented
by regional universities in coastal areas is that they
are programs based on science. This means that
the most important features of the programs are to
provide solutions utilizing the newest technology for
issues each area has and to provide objective
scientific information for the issues of coastal areas
where various conflicts of interest occur.
For the coastal areas where scientific information on
matters such as tidal currents, water quality,
biological activities and submarine topography is
required, the role of these universities is
immeasurable. While new ways of utilizing the sea,
such as the establishment of offshore wind farms,
have begun, these universities are making efforts
to solve issues and connect the activities of local
governments, enterprises and residents.

We tend to focus on the size of the 68 million dollar
budget from the federal government when
considering the SGP in the United States, but
projects – such as connecting local activities and
forming a national network to connect regions –
which do not necessarily require a large budget,
are also highly valued. With such a network,
the outcomes of a project in one area are shared
and spread throughout the entire nation.

*For more details about the SGP in the United
States, please see an article covering the subject
in Ocean Newsletter No.419.

-Extending SGP to Costal Areas in Japan-

Based on the hypothesis that there are some things
we can do without a large budget, I would like to
discuss briefly whether it is possible to develop a
system similar to the SGP of the United States in
Japan or not, taking into consideration new
movements from the aspects of industrial
applicability, security and environmental
conservation.

First, I will discuss industrial applicability.
As in the United States, the introduction of offshore
wind farms is becoming more realistic in Japan.
Discussions about laws and regulations regarding
the introduction of offshore wind farms into general
waters are now occurring. For example, the Cabinet
submitted the “Bill on the Promotion of the Use of
Territorial Waters for Offshore Renewable Energy
Generation Facilities” last month (March 2018).
How to advance discussions on this new applicability
method while considering the characteristics of the
proposed areas could be an issue, and the bill
allows a committee to be established in order to
gather opinions of the people involved. If we have a
system similar to the SGP, it will allow the committee
to have objective and scientific discussions.

Next comes the topic of security. The Basic Policy**
developed in April 2017 following the enactment of
the “Act of Inhabited Remote Islands on National
Borders” emphasizes the importance of the
sustainability of local communities on the specified
remote islands located on the border of the territorial
seas. However, the importance will be applied not
only to these remote islands but also to the coastal
areas where depopulation and aging is progressing.
Now that wooden boats have been steadily arriving,
possibly from North Korea, Japan has to decide how
to preserve and maintain the coastal areas.
There are an increasing number of expectations for
the establishment of a system which will visualize
and share the local knowledge of each area by
utilizing a system like the SGP.

Lastly, environmental conservation comes into play.
I would like to give a brief introduction of the
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are
currently being discussed and debated
internationally.

The SDGs were set by the United Nations in
September 2015, and goals related to sustainable
conservation and usage of the ocean and marine
resources were indicated as SDG14.
Global efforts are taking place towards the full
implementation of SDG14. The first United Nations
Ocean Conference was held at UN Headquarters in
June 2017, and discussions on marine environment
conservation have been progressing. In particular,
the importance of regional cooperation and
implementation of action plans based on technology
have been pointed out. In addition, with a proposal
from UNESCO in December 2017, the United Nations
designated the years 2021 to 2030 as the “Decade
of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.”
The importance of ocean science in marine
environment conservation is attracting attention,
and I can easily say that we are in a situation where
we must establish a community support system
like the SGP.


SDG14 Logo Image.PNG

Original Icons of Ocean SDGs (SDG 14)
(Source: Ocean White Paper 2018)
*Click to enlarge

Although this requires further study, looking at
recent movements, I believe that there is a need
to establish a science-based community support
system similar to the SGP. In Japan, there has
traditionally been an excellent network for the
purpose of promoting the fisheries, and it has
been functioning for a long time.

I would like to continue my study further by
considering working together with a great network
of prefectural marine experiment stations and fishery
colleges. The SGP of the United States created a
system in which innovations which were created to
solve issues in each community eventually created
new value, and I hope that in my next article I will
be able to introduce a system similar to that.

**Basic Policy on Preservation of Inhabited Remote
Islands on National Borders and Sustainability of
Local Communities on Special Inhabited Remote
Islands on National Borders (April 2017)

Note: This article was utilized research results from
the Japan Society of Ocean Policy’s Research Group
"Towards Revitalization of Coastal Regions by the
Use of the Ocean Policy Approach"
(October 2016 - September 2018)

Tomohiko Tsunoda

Senior Research Fellow
Ocean Policy Studies Division

Posted by OPRI at 14:00 | この記事のURL | コメント(0)
Ocean Jigsaw Puzzle Piece Series: On Participating in the Boston Career Forum [2018年09月13日(Thu)]

This blog post was originally posted to OPRI’s
blog in Japanese
on December 6th, 2017.

---

Today, instead of discussing activities by the Ocean
Policy Research Institute (OPRI-SPF), I would like to
introduce one of the activities conducted by the
Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) as a whole.
Recently, I had the opportunity to take part in an
overseas work trip for the first time, to participate
in the Boston Career Forum (November 17-18,
2017, Boston). The Sasakawa Peace Foundation
participated in this event, known as the world’s
largest Japanese-English bilingual career fair, as
part of its recruitment efforts.

I have the opportunity to meet people from various
backgrounds during my work at OPRI-SPF and find
that I am often asked about SPF’s recruitment
process. Given this opportunity, I would like to
introduce one of SPF’s recruitment methods, which
is to recruit through the Boston Career Forum.

At this event, we conducted interviews with
applicants who had passed the application process,
and at the same time gave brief seminars
introducing SPF’s work and culture. Two of SPF’s
executive directors and the director of OPRI-SPF
conducted the interviews, I presented the
information seminars (along with another program
officer), and a member from general affairs took
care of all other work required at our booth,
including receiving the applicants.

As various types of businesses and organizations
took part in the Forum, it was very interesting to
see how each of them presented themselves
through their booths, many of which were
decorated to reflect their culture and colors.
With a large number of university students
attending the Forum, the exhibition center was
filled with excitement.

We conducted the seminars in SPF’s booth, as
shown in the photo below. Since it wasn’t such a
big booth, we were able to really see the students’
reactions as we gave our presentations. Around
100 people attended our seminars over the two
days. In the seminars, which were for 20 minutes
each, we gave brief overviews of SPF and some of
our research projects, including a study on men
and masculinity, the Blue Economy, and also
provided a summary of our recruitment details.
Even when we were not giving seminars, we still
talked to participants who had visited us at the
booth to ask questions.

上里1.jpg
View of the seminar booth
(Photo taken by author)

Since I was interested in how things were going
in the interviews, I went to go take a photo
(see below). The person sitting in the interviewee
chair is our member from general affairs. Since I
wanted to see what the actual interview would look
like, I had our staff recreate the situation.
While the photo seems to show a nice, friendly
moment, in the actual interview, the closeness
with the interviewers may cause some people to
become nervous.

上里2.jpg
Recreating the interview process
(Photo taken by author)

While it was only for two days, it was a nice
experience getting to work with members from
other departments. At OPRI-SPF, I have two
colleagues who were accepted through past Boston
Career Forums. Through the Forum, I hope that
this year we will also see new people coming to
work with us.

Rina Uesato
Ocean Policy Planning and Management Department

Posted by OPRI at 15:00 | この記事のURL | コメント(0)
Ocean Jigsaw Puzzle Piece Series: Importance of Understanding the Ocean ~Through participation at ICP 18~ [2018年08月29日(Wed)]

This blog post was originally uploaded in
Japanese to OPRI’s blog
on June 21, 2017.

---

“The ocean is a sheet of copy paper.” This is what a
professor told me in his lecture at my university,
and the impression left on me remains to this day.
If you imagine the surface of the ocean as a sheet of
copy paper, a depth of 4,000 meters (13,123 feet)
would be 0.05 millimeters (0.002 inches), or exactly
as thin as a sheet of paper. However, even if it can
be compared to a sheet of paper, it is not easy to
reach the bottom of a 4,000-meter ocean bed.
There are so many things that exist there which
we do not know about. That was the gist of the
professor’s story, and he used it to teach the
importance of “Understanding the Ocean”
paradoxically.

The importance of “Understanding the Ocean” was
emphasized in the Basic Plan on Ocean Policy, which
was approved by the Japanese Cabinet in 2008.
Understanding the ocean can be said to be a
foundation of ocean policy, as it is stipulated in the
Plan’s General Remarks that, “The sea still holds
many fields yet-to-be-defined scientifically and
various phenomena in the sea mutually have close
correlation...in promoting ocean policy, it is
important to give due considerations to the balance
and collaboration between the ideas of
“understanding the sea,” “protecting the sea” and
“exploiting the sea.”

The 18th meeting of the United Nations Open-Ended
Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the
Law of the Sea (ICP 18) was held May 15-19, 2017.
Participating in this meeting gave me an opportunity
to think about the importance of “Understanding the
Ocean” again, so I would like to introduce two
memorable lectures from the meeting.

Tsunoda 1.jpg
Opening of the ICP 18 (Welcome speech by Peter
Thomson, U.N. General Assembly President)

Introduced by resolution of the U.N. General
Assembly (54/33) in 1999, I would say that the ICP
is the only place to discuss ocean issues apart from
the U.N. General Assembly. The theme of the 18th
meeting was “The effects of climate change on
oceans,” and discussions were conducted on the
issues−such as “ocean warming,” “ocean
acidification,”“rising sea levels,” “marine
ecosystems,” “marine resources” and “coastal
disaster prevention” − which the international
community needs to address based on scientific
knowledge.

The lecture that I would like to introduce first was
the lecture on “ocean acidification,” by Dr. Libby
Jewett of the Office of Atmospheric Research of
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA). Concerning the issue of
carbon dioxide absorbed into the ocean and
causing ocean acidification due to a chemical
reaction, Dr. Jewett stressed the importance of
“understanding,” by remarking, “What you don’t
measure, you cannot manage.” She showed the
importance of the research on the effects of
acidification on marine life and also the
importance of having an ongoing ocean
acidification monitoring system, such as the
Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network
(GOA-ON).

Next I would like to introduce a lecture by Mr. Andi
E. Sakya of the Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi, dan
Geofisika (BMKG, the Meteorological, Climatological
and Geophysical Agency, Indonesia) on information
transmission measures for the people living in
coastal areas. In order to reduce damage from
disasters along the coast such as tsunamis, BMKG
developed meteorology and climatology early
warning systems. However, the agency faced a
problem. These systems are useless without proper
understanding by the people who receive the
information. As a solution, the agency promoted
the Climate Field School (CFS) system. As the word
‘school’ suggests, courses are actively held to
improve people’s understanding. As a result, the
system contributed to a reduction in damages and
brought the additional benefit of profit increases to
primary industries. Mr. Sakya insisted that he would
encourage expanding this successful system to
those Pacific Island countries that are suffering from
similar coastal disasters.

The above-mentioned ocean acidification is also an
important topic that our institute has taken up as a
project and is working toward solutions for. I feel
confident that we can find and apply good solutions
if we actively make efforts to “share” as well as
“understand,” following the example from Indonesia.

The theme of next year’s ICP 19 is “Anthropogenic
underwater noise.” This is a theme which was also
taken up at last year’s meeting of the Conference
of the Parties to the Convention on Biological
Diversity (COP 13) and which is currently gaining
global attention. However, it is not fully understood
in Japan. I would like to provide information using
the tools of “understanding” and “sharing,” such as
the “Ocean White Paper,” the “Ocean
Newsletter”
and the “Ocean Forum.”

Tsunoda 2.png
“Understanding the Ocean,” “Protecting the Ocean”
and “Developing the Ocean”

This is a monument at Kanagawa Prefectural
Marine Science Senior High School.
The students and teachers are tackling the ocean
acidification issue as part of our “Ocean Education
Pioneer School Program.”
Similar wording from the First Basic Plan on Ocean
Policy is engraved on this monument.

Special Thanks:
The professor mentioned in the first paragraph is
Dr. Toshio Yamagata, a Special Research Fellow of
our institute and Professor Emeritus of the
University of Tokyo. He shared the position of chief
editor of the “Ocean Newsletter” for twelve years
from October 2004 to March 2017 with Dr. Tomoya
Akimichi (Professor Emeritus of the Research
Institute for Humanity and Nature). He led us over
a long time in “Understanding the Ocean” and
“Sharing Knowledge.” I would like to thank him
once again.

Tomohiko Tsunoda

Senior Research Fellow
Ocean Policy Studies Division

Posted by OPRI at 15:00 | この記事のURL | コメント(0)
Ocean Jigsaw Puzzle Piece Series: Evaluation Process of Second Basic Plan on Ocean Policy [2018年07月25日(Wed)]

This blog post was originally uploaded in
Japanese to OPRI’s blog
on May 17, 2017.

---

If you have been following this blog, you must be
well aware that our staff members and directors are
devoted to research studies that contribute to the
development of ocean policies both in Japan and
around the world. These research studies include
not only finding and providing new information but
also (re-)evaluating current or existing projects.
The latter is also very important for promoting
better research studies. We conducted an evaluation
process in January 2017 on the second Basic Plan on
Ocean Policy, the results of which will help guide our
future research studies.

We sent an evaluation form to 65 people on our
institute’s research committees (the Comprehensive
Ocean Policy Research Committee, the Research
Committee on the Implementation of the Integrated
Coastal Management Model, the Research
Committee on the Promotion of the Sustainable
Development of Islands and their Surrounding Ocean
Areas, the “Ocean Newsletter” Editorial Committee,
the “Ocean White Paper 2017” Editorial Committee
and the Research Committee on the Future of the
Arctic) and asked for their cooperation on our
evaluation process. Twenty-eight of these individuals
sent us their replies. I would like to thank those who
helped us, especially as it was during the busiest
time of the year.

The results are shown in the diagram below. We
received a high evaluation on the policies of
“4. Securing Maritime Transport,” “9. Integrated
Coastal Zone Management” and “10. Conservation
of Remote Islands.” On the other hand, we received
a low evaluation on the policies of “3. Promotion of
Development of Exclusive Economic Zones,”
“7. Promotion of Research and Development of
Ocean Science and Technology” and “8. Promotion
of Ocean Industries and Strengthening International
Competitiveness.” However, non-experts gave us a
high evaluation on those policies that received a low
evaluation from the experts. My honest opinion is
that it was very interesting (and rather surprising)
for me, who was in charge of this process, to see the
difference in their understanding and evaluation of
each policy. For reference, this evaluation process
had a feature where we asked the participants to
choose whether they were “an expert,” “not an
expert but have an interest,” or “not an expert and
have no interest” in each of the twelve policies
stipulated in the second Basic Plan on Ocean Policy
before they completed the evaluation process.
Therefore, we were able to show the differences in
their understanding, as shown below.

ジグソーピース図(英語).jpg
Evaluation of Achievement per Policy
(Source: Modified from “Report on Research
Concerning Ocean Policy in Japan (2016)”)

We also included a free comment section on the
evaluation sheet. There were some harsh opinions
on the second Basic Plan on Ocean Policy. One such
shared opinion was, “All in all, it was impossible to
avoid the impression that these measures were
thrown together quickly from existing ones from
each ministry. Policies based on the Basic Act on
Ocean Policy and the United Nations Convention on
Maritime Law have not yet been fully developed
since the initial planning stages.” Another opinion
stated, “I would encourage as many people as
possible to try to understand the ocean. For this,
it is important to share knowledge of the ocean with
Japanese citizens and gain their understanding.
However, I do not think this has been achieved.
People’s lives have gotten further and further away
from the concept of an ‘Ocean State.’” In addition,
we received comments regarding current issues and
future development that said, “The well-developed
Ocean Basic Plan should be made widely known to
the public. Efforts to evoke interest in the ocean and
opportunities to discuss the ocean should be
encouraged further.” As a researcher concerned with
ocean policy, this really pleased me.

For more details about the evaluation process of the
second Basic Plan on Ocean Policy, please read the
“Report on Research Concerning Ocean Policy in
Japan (2016),” compiled by our institute. We are
hopeful that the report will be utilized in future
research on ocean policy. Our institute wishes to
gather policy suggestions based on opinions from the
participants and utilize the report in contributing to
the establishment of a new Basic Plan on Ocean
Policy. We hope that we will continue to receive
further guidance and encouragement from our
readers in the future.

Yuta Komori
Research Fellow, Ocean Policy Studies Division

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