CANPAN ブログ検索
  • もっと見る

Ocean Jigsaw Puzzle Piece Series - Search for new a form of Ocean Governance−from the Perspective of Blue Infinity Loops [2020年03月27日(Fri)]

This blog post was originally uploaded in
Japanese to OPRI's blog on 27 June 2019.

The Ocean Policy Research Institute (OPRI) has taken
up numerous research activities and achieved results
on specific marine issues such as comprehensive
coastal management, marine education, biodiversity,
utilization of Arctic shipping routes and maritime
security. While recent policy research studies have
focused on individual maritime issues, we have also
been carrying out research on the seas of East Asia,
where we are situated, and on the world’s oceans
from a comprehensive viewpoint, or one that
investigates the management of oceans as a global
public good.

Today, however, the conservation and sustainable use
of marine environments and resources are central
topics of discussion on all international platforms.
For this reason, the importance of multilateral
maritime governance has emerged, and establishing
a governance mechanism has become a pressing
issue. With this awareness, OPRI launched a
research project titled “Creation of a New
International Structure to Protect the Ocean” in
April 2019, and started a research study aimed at
producing a universal form of maritime governance.

To briefly introduce the analytical framework of this
project, the target areas for the research are the
world’s oceans in the two blue belts shown in
Figure 1, what we call “Blue Infinity Loops.”
In the sea areas of each Blue Infinity Loop, while
various marine problems such as illegal,
unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing,
extreme weather due to climate change, and
marine debris are recurring challenges, the serious
impact of these problems is felt not only in individual
sea areas but also other bodies of water.

Figure 2 shows the relationship between such
marine problems and the users of the sea area:
spatial or geographical classifications (coastal,
offshore, open sea) and legal classifications based
on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the
Sea (UNCLOS) (territorial waters, contiguous zones,
exclusive economic zones, international waters) are
on the vertical axis and the main users of sea areas
related to the allocation of those jurisdictions are
on the horizontal axis.

In the context of the maritime issues existing in
each sea area and the forms of cooperation involved
in solving them (bilateral or multilateral), we would
like to examine the governance mechanism and
methods necessary to promote sustainable marine
use and make policy recommendations by analyzing
the interrelationship (causal relationship) between
the users of sea areas and the marine problems
that exist there.

This new research project has just begun and many
difficulties are anticipated in the future. We would
appreciate your support to President Sunami and all
of our researchers as we undertake this formidable

Figure 1-ppt.JPG

Figure 1: Concept of Blue Infinity Loops


Figure 2: Image of Multilateral Governance
in the Ocean

Xiang Gao
Research Fellow
The Ocean Policy Research Institute

Posted by OPRI at 15:11 | この記事のURL | コメント(0)
Ocean Jigsaw Puzzle Piece Series - The Future of Islands and Climate Change Adaptation [2020年01月24日(Fri)]

This blog post was originally uploaded in
Japanese to OPRI's blog on 29 May 2019.

Hello, everyone. My name is Nagisa Yoshioka and
I’m a newbie researcher of oceans and climate
change issues at the Ocean Policy Research Institute
(OPRI) of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation. In this
Ocean Jigsaw Puzzle Piece, I’d like to talk about the
current state of islands and climate change while
introducing the research projects I’m involved in.

■ What is Climate Change Adaptation?

First, I’d like to provide a simple explanation of
Climate Change Adaptation, a field that particularly
interests me. I imagine many of you know that
climate change countermeasures can largely be
categorized into the areas of “mitigation” and

Mitigation-type countermeasures aim to curb climate
change by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,
while adaptation-type means minimizing the negative
impacts that climate change has on society. In
developing countries, the question of how people
living in environs more vulnerable to climate
change−due to a shortage of infrastructure or low
economic standards−will adapt to change is a
major issue. What does this mean in terms of how
climate change affects small island countries or
coastal countries?

■ Climate change issues facing islands

The industries of people living in coastal regions
depend heavily on marine resources. Fishing and
tourism are typical examples. If marine resources
decline due to climate change, people working in the
fishing industry will experience unstable incomes.
Or, if beautiful coral reefs are lost, the tourism
industry of island countries−often a key industry
−will face difficulties. A decline in industries
caused by the depletion of marine resources is
becoming a major threat to the economies of
coastal countries and island countries. It is also
threatening people’s livelihoods and the food
security of communities.


A fish market in Fiji.
Some fishermen noted they have seen a decline in
their catch recently
(photographed by the author)

Another issue is the growing severity and frequency
of disasters caused by climate change. Such disasters
can be roughly categorized as “extreme weather
events” and “slow-onset events.” In addition to
damages from abnormal weather, such as larger
typhoons and localized torrential rain, there is
concern that more disasters such as rising sea
level and drought will threaten people’s livelihoods
in the future.. The impacts from such disasters
include not only human and property damage,
but also the loss of land where people live.


A beach in the Marshall Islands.
The palm tree fell over due to coastal erosion.
(photographed by the author)

Countermeasures from various perspectives are
needed for people living on islands to adapt to these
risks from climate change. Below, I’d like to quickly
introduce topics OPRI is exploring in terms of climate
change adaptation for Pacific island countries.

■ Recognition of climate change risks to oceans

First, recognizing the type of risk is key to determining
the right investment and policy action. For example,
the negative impacts that climate change will have
on marine resources and people’s living environments
need to be understood based on scientific evidence.
Admirably, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) released its Special Report on the
Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate in
September 2019.
Now is an excellent time for society to develop a
deeper understanding of climate change risks facing
the world’s oceans. This fiscal year, OPRI will begin
joint research on the theme of “ocean risks and
climate change security” with the Stimson Center in
Washington D.C. This research will involve creating
an index and mapping both climate change and ocean

■ Disaster risk reduction in coastal areas

Countermeasures against disaster risks have become
an important issue for small island countries and
coastal countries to help empower coastal
communities to combat natural disasters such as
typhoons and high tides. In addition, there is a
growing worldwide movement to increase resilience
to disasters by sharing knowledge and technology
related to disaster risk reduction. Recently, I took
part in the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction
(GPDRR) held in Geneva, Switzerland as an observer.
Organized by the United Nations Office for Disaster
Risk Reduction (UNDRR), this conference is held once
every two years following the Sendai Framework for
Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 established in
2015. I felt there is growing interest in
ecosystem-based DRR, or Eco-DRR, that utilizes
natural ecosystems as a focal point of discussion on
oceans and coasts. Eco-DRR involves such activities
as mitigating risk of tsunamis and high tides by
fostering the growth of mangrove forests. It is being
promoted to increase resilience while safeguarding
ecosystems along with vibrant food resources of
coastal communities. The number of good practices
involving such initiatives and the sharing of knowledge
worldwide is expected to increase going forward.
OPRI will continue to research cases in Japan and
in Pacific island countries.


Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction
held in Geneva
(photographed by the author)

■ Migration induced by rising sea level

As discussed above, small island countries,
particularly atoll countries, such as Kiribati,
the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and the Maldives,
face such problems as land erosion from rising
sea levels. There are growing concerns in the
international community that people living in
these countries will be relocated to other lands.
Meanwhile, legislation for the protection of climate
change refugees has been slow to develop because
the factors for relocation are complex and
intertwined, as well as politically sensitive.
Given this situation, there are growing voices that
migration should not be forced, but rather optional.
OPRI launched research on climate-induced migration
issues from last fiscal year. We are now studying the
issues facing people living on atolls migrating to
another country and the type of international
assistance needed to facilitate migration with dignity.
Most of these people migrating do so for education or
career purposes. Still, in case more people relocate to
other countries in the future due to rising sea levels,
it will be important to achieve “migration with dignity”
(a concept advocated by Anote Tong, Kiribati’s former

■ Financing for Pacific island countries

The discussion of financing is essential to combating
the ocean risks introduced here. However, it remains
difficult to mobilize funds for countermeasures against
uncertain events such as climate change. One major
issue is how to create incentives for investors.
For example, decisions on investments in disaster risk
reduction cannot be made without the recognition
that the costs for reducing risks in advance can be
fully offset by the reduction of losses from damages
caused by actual disasters.

Furthermore, there are many cases where developing
countries find it extremely difficult to secure and
allocate enough funds internally to the field of disaster
risk reduction. Therefore, discussions must be held on
how to draw funds from around the world for building
resilience. This will require identification of funding
gaps and utilization of innovative financial tools.
OPRI is also researching these risks and financing
schemes, with the goal to provide policy
recommendations on how to address financing
issues of island countries that are particularly
vulnerable to coasted disasters.

This concludes my introduction of OPRI’s research
on climate change adaptation. Each of these examples
is an exploratory study that has only just begun.
We will continue to share research outcomes with
society for a sustainable future for the world’s oceans
and islands.

Nagisa Yoshioka
Research Fellow
The Ocean Policy Research Institute

Posted by OPRI at 15:00 | この記事のURL | コメント(0)
Ocean Jigsaw Puzzle Piece Series
- 20th Anniversary of the IARC and the
Future of Arctic Research [2019年12月27日(Fri)]

This blog post was originally uploaded in
Japanese to OPRI's blog on 13 March 2019.

In March 2019, I participated in the
“Japan-US Arctic Science Collaboration−Reflections
on the Past Two Decades and Future Opportunities”,
held by the University of Alaska’s International Arctic
Research Center (hereafter “IARC”). This conference
commemorated the 20th anniversary of the IARC
and was co-sponsored by the Wilson Center and
Japan’s National Institute of Polar Research,
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and
Technology, as well as our institute.


International Arctic Research Center (IARC)


Hajo Eicken, Director of the IARC (left),
Syun-ichi Akasofu, Founding Director
of the Center (middle),
Atsushi Sunami, OPRI President (right)

The IARC was launched as a research institute
established at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in
1999 under the bilateral Japan-US cooperation
framework “US-Japan Common Agenda for
Cooperation in Global Perspective,” initiated in 1993,
with the purpose of promoting international
cooperation on research into global scale
phenomena such as climate change and the Arctic,
and it plays an important role as a base for Arctic
research, not only between the US and Japan,
but internationally.

When the IARC was launched, Japan’s Arctic
research was of a smaller scale than it’s Antarctic
research, and our international presence was
also weak. However, over the last 20 years the
environment surrounding Japan’s Arctic research
has changed dramatically with the launch of the
national projects of the GRENE Project in 2011 and
the ArCS Project in 2015, and the Japanese
government formulating an Arctic policy with
scientific research as one of its three pillars,
enhancing both funding and policy. The reality of
today is that many of the researchers supporting
these projects have had experience in research at
the IARC, and the role of the IARC in fostering
young researchers from when Arctic research was
less active 20 years ago and the achievements of
its founder Syun-ichi Akasofu have been

Going forward, policy perspectives will be
increasingly important in Japan’s Arctic research.
The purposes of the ArCS Project are to elucidate
climate change in the Arctic and to clarify the
impacts of environmental changes on society,
and to effectively communicate to stakeholders
research that contributes to policy decisions and
problem solving on Arctic issues, or in other words,
placing an emphasis on providing scientific
knowledge for policy decisions. One of the most
interesting things that happened at this conference
in Alaska was when Larry Hinzman, Vice Chancellor
of the University of Alaska and former Director of
the IARC noted that the role of the IARC was to
“obtain scientific knowledge to contribute to
international policy”. That is, there is a need for
research which contributes to policy, even within
the international Arctic research community.
The ArCS Project is due to finish in 2019, and its
successor project which should start from 2020
will also need to look to further this role. This also
means an increasing importance on policy research,
which bridges scientific research with policy making.
This was the reason for our institute co-hosting
this conference, to seek out the role that policy
research needs to play in taking Arctic research in
Japan to that next level.

The Arctic Science Ministerial Meeting is one
important framework in considering Arctic research
from a policy perspective. This is an initiative of
the United States which was launched in 2016 for
the purpose of holding high level discussions on
matters related to Arctic scientific research, and,
unlike the Arctic Council in which Japan merely has
observer status, the feature of this meeting is that
non-Arctic countries can actively take part in
setting the agenda. The 2nd Arctic Science
Ministerial Meeting took place in Berlin, Germany
last October, and at the meeting it was decided
that the 3rd meeting will be jointly hosted by
Japan and Iceland and be held in Japan. This will
be the first time it will be held in Asia, which is
a manifestation of the many years of results and
trust which has been established here with respect
to Arctic research. At the same time, as host
country, it will be our obligation to show concrete
measures to the international community for how
Japan can contribute in the area of science to
issues concerning the Arctic. At the very least,
we will need to really take advantage of this
opportunity to host this Arctic Science Ministerial

In this sense, this IARC meeting was a very useful
opportunity to develop a concrete image of what
future international cooperation in Arctic research
will look like. Hajo Eicken, director of the IARC,
expressed his great expectations for the up coming
Arctic Science Ministerial Meeting to be held in
Japan, and noted that the IARC would be
interested in cooperating. I believe that we will
see a further increase in the importance of
cooperation with the IARC than over the past
20 years.

In addition to the Arctic Science Ministerial Meeting,
2020 will see a large number of other major
conferences related to the Arctic held in Japan.
Our institute plans to hold a regional forum in
cooperation with Iceland’s Arctic Circle, which has
become known as the Arctic version of the Davos
Forum. This has been planned since the Chairman
of the Arctic Circle, and former President of Iceland,
Grimsson was invited to an international conference
in February 2018, and is an attempt by Japan and
Iceland to cooperate in both public and private
fields, through the government level Arctic Science
Ministerial Meeting and the private level Arctic Circle.
In addition, a variety of events have also been
planned in the academic field, including Kobe
University planning to hold a Polar Law Symposium,
all of which should make 2020 a truly Arctic Year for
Japan. In addition to the attention that is sure to
come with the Olympics, we hope that our institute
will be a force in attracting the attention of the world
in the field of Arctic cooperation.


Cake celebrating the 20th anniversary of the
IARC (a very sweet typical American cake)

Eiji Sakai
Vice President
The Ocean Policy Research Institute

Posted by OPRI at 15:00 | この記事のURL | コメント(0)
"Ocean Newsletter Selected Papers No.24"
Now Available
The Ocean Policy Research Institute of the
Sasakawa Peace Foundation (OPRI-SPF)

publishes a Japanese-language newsletter called
the "Ocean Newsletter" twice a month.
The "Ocean Newsletter" seeks to provide people of
diverse 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.

The "Ocean Newsletter Selected Papers" contains
English-language versions of papers from the
Japanese Newsletter edition. It is our sincere hope
that these Selected Papers will provide useful
insights on policy debate in Japan and help to foster
global policy dialogue on various ocean issues.

Please click here to access "Ocean Newsletter
Selected Papers No.24," the latest in the series,
containing works published between No.431
(July 20, 2018) and No.450 (May 5, 2019)
in the Japanese edition.



A preview of "Ocean Newsletter
Selected Papers No.24"

Towards “Zero” Greenhouse Gas Emissions from
International Shipping

Hideaki SAITO
Director, Shipbuilding and Ship Machinery Division,
Maritime Bureau, MLIT / Chair,
Marine Environment Protection Committee,
International Maritime Organization

Protecting Palau's Oceans through Disposal of
Explosive Remnants of War (ERW)

Japan Mine Action Service (JMAS) Palau

What Environmental DNA Brings to the Future of
the Oceans

Associate Professor, Field Science Education and
Research Center, Kyoto University

Development of an Underwater Floating-type Ocean
Current Power Generation System and the
Demonstration Sea-trial

Shigeki NAGAYA
Manager, IHI Corporation

Creation of the 2nd Taketomi Basic Plan on Ocean
Policy: A town living in harmonywith Churaumi
(beautiful ocean)

Taichiro TOUJI
Director, Policy Promotion Division, Taketomi Town
Government, Okinawa Prefecture

On the Utilization of Water Transportation in
Tokyo Bay

President and Representative Director,
Tokyo Water Taxi, Inc.

Launch of the Japan Coast Guard Mobile Cooperation
Team (MCT)

Director for Coast Guard International Cooperation,
Administration Department,
Japan Coast Guard

The World Maritime University -- Sasakawa Global
Ocean Institute: A New Institute in a Unique

Ronan LONG
Director, WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute,
World Maritime University

Efforts towards the Creation of an Oyster Farming
Pipe Utilizing Biodegradable Plastics

Division Head, Second Operations Division,
UMI & NAGISA Foundation

The Kuroshio Large Meander and its Impacts
Senior Scientist, Application Laboratory,
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and
Technology (JAMSTEC)

Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency’s
Contribution to SDGs: Promotion of the SH“U”N

Yoshioki OOZEKI
Senior Advisor, Japan Fisheries Research
and Education Agency

Posted by OPRI at 16:23 | この記事のURL | コメント(0)
Ocean Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces Series
- On the Front Lines of the Blue Economy:
A Focus on Building Oyster Farming Businesses [2019年11月29日(Fri)]

This blog post was originally uploaded in
Japanese to OPRI's blog
on 23 January 2019.

The blue economy has been one of the projects
advanced by the Ocean Policy Research Institute
of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (OPRI-SPF)
over the last several years. At OPRI-SPF, the blue
economy means bringing a change of mentality
and technological innovation to bear in utilizing
marine ecosystems and social infrastructure
sustainably through the collected efforts of the
many stakeholders involved. The goal is to revitalize
target industries and services and thereby improve
people's quality of life.
With this blog, I would like to talk about the initiatives
of those working in the blue economy, which are
initiatives that differ from the research currently being
carried out by OPRI-SPF.

As I have also indicated in the above report, fisheries
industries that include farming are an important part
of the industries that make up the blue economy.
I have long been in close contact with a certain
fisheries cooperative in the city of Kainan in
Wakayama Prefecture. During a recent trip I took
through the city, I got a chance to see the work
being done at marine farms and retail shops.
It drove home just how important such farming
really is. As an effort to stimulate the local economy,
for the last several years the city has been building
up oyster farming in a bid to establish it as a key
feature of a new local industry suffering from
depopulation. Members of Kainan's fisheries
cooperatives and Wakayama Prefecture's Agriculture
and Fisheries Division visited oyster farms around
the country to conduct repeated field studies
along with farming experiments in the city's bay.
They then used what they learned to begin
full-fledged farming in the open sea in September

Oyster farm

Oysters waiting to be shipped

For oyster farming, Hiroshima Prefecture is renowned
as the largest market in Japan. It accounted for
60.2% of the 158,925 tons of total oysters farmed
domestically in 2018. Miyagi Prefecture came in
second at 12.0%, followed by third-place Okayama
Prefecture at 9.7%. Wakayama's 6 tons of oysters
put it in 24th place, or 0.0037% of total production.
Many are now watching to see what will happen
with marine product farming, a very unusual pursuit
that has never enjoyed mainstream publicity, and
it is now garnering attention nationwide through
TV and national newspaper coverage.

Some say, however, that Hiroshima Prefecture's rise
to the top of oyster farming began in Wakayama
Prefecture. It is said that Asano Nagaakira
(1586–1632), a feudal lord in the Edo period,
brought his oyster farming techniques with him
when he was made to relocate from the
Kii-wakayama Domain to the Aki-hiroshima Domain.
Even historically, then, we know that oyster farming
has been perfectly viable in Wakayama (and is,
indeed, being done now).

Here I have talked about what I found during a trip
to the area. In the future, I would like to share more
about these kinds of initiatives with everyone as a
person engaged in various research projects involving
ocean policy at OPRI-SPF, including the blue economy.
Here I have covered new marine farming initiatives
aimed at stimulating local economies. For more
information about these kinds of activities, keep an
eye out for publications such as the Ocean
, issued by OPRI-SPF.

Riho Gojo
Visiting Research Fellow

Posted by OPRI at 15:00 | この記事のURL | コメント(0)
Ocean Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces Series
- Trends in Natural Disasters: Vulnerability of
Small Island Developing Countries to Climate
Change and Natural Disasters

This blog post was originally uploaded in
Japanese to OPRI's blog
on 23 January 2019.

“Disasters occur where ‘hazards’ meet ‘vulnerability’
in certain ‘places’ (exposure)”
(B. Wisner, P. Blaikie, T. Cannon, and I. Davis (1994))

What ultimately determines the scale of human
disaster, economic disaster, and environmental
disaster relies on the number of people available to
support victims and restrict damage expansion and
the extent of the capacity to recover from the
disaster. “Natural hazard” means a naturally occurring
physical phenomenon that is caused by an event that
rapidly or slowly attacks a range on the scale of the
solar system, Earth, regions, nations or areas,
due to meteorological, geological, or hydrological
factors. Disasters caused by such natural hazards
include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides,
tsunami, floods, and droughts, which can significantly
affect a society’s sustainability and economic and
social development.

Figures from EM-DAT, one of the largest natural
disaster databases in the world, show that from
2000 to 2018, approximately 200 million people
suffered because of disasters each year. Economic
losses due to natural disasters exceed $120 billion
on average each year, and these effects and their
victims and fatalities are mostly concentrated in
developing countries.

Fig 1 Michael-san.png
Fig.1 Fatalities from natural disasters
occurring in 2000–2018
(Click to enlarge)

Fig 2 Michael-san.png
Fig.2 Economic losses from natural disasters
occurring in 2000–2018
(Click to enlarge)

Since 2010, the number of fatalities from natural
disasters has been in decline (Fig. 1), but the
economic losses have tended upwards (Fig. 2).
The type of disaster that produces the greatest
number of fatalities is earthquakes and tsunami,
as exemplified by the 2004 Sumatra earthquake
and tsunami (250,000 people), the 2005 Pakistan
earthquake (70,000 people), the 2008 Sichuan
earthquake (80,000 people), the 2010 Haiti
earthquake (220,000 people), and the 2011
Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (GEJE)
(15,000 people). On the other hand, the 2008
Sichuan earthquake (US$8.5 billion) and the
GEJE in 2011 (US$21 billion) were estimated as
causing larger economic losses, and natural
disasters due to climate change, tsunami or high
tides, and the like are having greater effect mainly
on economic losses. In particular, looking at human
and economic losses due to natural disasters since
1980, we can see that the highest rate of damage
has occurred since 2000. Further, the loss from
disasters due to climate change, tsunami and
high tides, and the like in 2017 reached US$29
billion, accounting for over 90% of the total for
natural disasters.

Fig 3 Michael-san.png
Fig.3 Natural disasters occurring in 2000–2018
(Click to enlarge)

So, looking at the number of disasters in Figure 3,
climate change, tsunami and high tide, and other
natural disasters have occurred frequently since
2000, with an average of approximately 300
events or more each year. With these natural
disasters, many years of development and growth
and efforts to build up towns and villages can
disappear in an instant. As human damage due to
meteorological disasters (such as typhoons and
storms), the cyclone that struck Myanmar in 2008
caused at least 150,000 fatalities. These kinds
of economic losses due to natural disasters in
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) account
for 8% of the GDP of each SIDS country, making
them an extremely serious issue compared to the
average of 0.12% globally and 0.01% in G7
countries. It is a fact that natural disasters are
certain to happen, but they are also a threat to
sustainable development. Natural disasters are not
someone else’s problem in any way. As can be seen
from the interruption to global supply chains after
the GEJE or the flooding in Thailand, they deeply
affect people’s lives and lifestyles.

According to an estimate on the effects of disaster
reduction that was reported at the World Bank
general meeting held in Japan in 2012, an
investment of $1 in disaster prevention efforts
could prevent $7 worth of damage. In other words,
disaster prevention is an effective investment that
produces a sevenfold benefit. Looking at [Figure 4],
natural disaster financing is expected to develop
particularly in SIDS. Because of this, efforts to
improve research capabilities in disaster assessment,
rescue and resilience are essential. In addition,
through sustainable development in such areas as
infrastructure and system reinforcement, science
and technology investment, and industry and
lifestyle, we can expect maximal use of the
knowledge and technologies of developed countries
to lead to efforts by international society and local
areas aimed at constructing a resilient society.

Fig 4 Michael-san.jpg
Fig.4 Comparison of disaster effects on
global average and in SIDS
(created by author from EM-DAT materials)
(Click to enlarge)

Among the three major elements of disaster risk,
stopping natural disasters (hazard) from occurring
and avoiding damage (exposure) are important,
but since large-scale relocation is infeasible, the
most realistic strategy is to reduce vulnerability.
In other words, it is necessary to develop capacity
that is resistant to disaster, and to promote scientific
and technical diplomacy along the lines of technology
that supports that.

Disasters are unavoidable, but it seems the best way
to reduce disaster risk is to promote a positive cycle
by investment in resilience as a whole and create a
society that can develop with sustainability, as well
as safety and security.

Michael C. Huang
Research Fellow

Posted by OPRI at 15:00 | この記事のURL | コメント(0)
Ocean Jigsaw Puzzle Piece Series -
Kuwait’s Social and Marine Environment [2019年11月15日(Fri)]

This blog post was originally uploaded in
Japanese to OPRI's blog
on 6 November 2019.


I recently went to Kuwait. What do you think of
when you hear Kuwait? For me, I knew little more
than such keywords as the Middle East,
the Persian Gulf, oil mining country and the setting
of the Gulf War. When I actually went there, I was
able to learn about and understand such things
as the Regional Organization for the Protection
of Marine Environment (ROPME)
, the Arabian
Gulf, foreign fishermen, seawater desalination and
Kuwait’s marine environment. Here I would like to
touch on these keywords as I explain a little about
the Kuwait social and marine environments.

Prior to the Opening of the Kuwait Oil Industry
(Relationship with Japan)

Kuwait is a small country located in the Middle East
(or West Asia), in the inner Persian Gulf (see map).
It has an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) which
extends about 11,000 km2. Prior to the production
of oil since 1938, Kuwait appeared to have flourishing
trade on the route for pilgrimage to Mecca, with many
nomads and a settled population of fishermen mostly
living on the coast who seemed to make their livings
collecting pearls and finishing. At this time, only
natural pearls were available, and the Kuwait coast
dominated the pearl market, with successful pearl
farming by Kokichi Mikimoto of Mikimoto fame,
believed to have devastated this Kuwait pearl
Being no longer able to be supported with pearls,
Kuwait consequently permitted foreign capital
companies to drill for oil and then discovered large
oil fields.
I was surprised to learn that unknowingly Japanese
technological developments came to have an indirect
but great impact on this far away country.

Location of Kuwait and its EEZ (Red area)

Dramatic Changes to the Kuwait Living and
Natural Environments with Oil

The Burgan oil field was discovered in Kuwait,
which was said to boast the world’s second largest
crude oil reserves, and oil drilling began in earnest
in the late 1940s. This brought about a transition to a
monoculture exclusively relying on the oil industry,
and many foreign workers flowed into Kuwait.
Today, more than four million people live in Kuwait,
but Kuwaitis make up less than 1/3 of this number.
Precise statistics about the population prior to the
establishment of the oil industry could not be found,
but it appears that it may have been about 1/10 of
the current size. The majority of Kuwaitis are
government officials, and most other work is done
by foreign workers.
For example, apparently about 3,000 to 8,000 tons
of seafood is landed in Kuwait every year, but these
fishing activities are carried out by migrant workers
such as Bangladeshis, Indians, Egyptians and

Modern cityscape and harbor
Fishing boats are owned by Kuwaitis,
but most are manned by migrant fishermen.

A fish market
A grouper fish called Hamoor is commonly eaten.

So how is fresh water obtained in Kuwait,
with all of these many people now living there?
I did not know this until I actually went there,
but there are no rivers in Kuwait. Most fresh water is
produced by the desalination of seawater.
There are six desalination plants in operation in
Kuwait, and these are all adjacent to thermal
power plants which provide the heat. I heard that
some coastal areas which received the drain-off
from such plants have a super high salt content
of 60 (nearly twice the salinity of normal seawater).

In addition to these domestic issues, the reduced
flows from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers which
pour into the inner Persian Gulf have also cast a
large shadow over the marine environments of
Kuwait and the Persian Gulf. Dams constructed
upstream on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in
Turkey and Syria are said to have partly
contributed to the decrease in flow. Water use in
the basin, such as for irrigation, is also said to be a
cause of the decrease in flow. Where the salinity of
the Kuwait sea area would previously decline to
around 30 in the season where flows from snow
melts would arrive, this decrease in river flow has
been reported to have kept the salinity of the Kuwait
sea area to over 40.

Regional Framework for Environmental Protection
and Gulf Designation

Up to this point in this post, we have used the term
“Persian Gulf,” but in fact the designation of this area
as a gulf has been a delicate issue. The Regional
Organization for the Protection of Marine Environment
(ROPME), which is headquartered in Kuwait, has eight
member countries: Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait,
Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab
Emirates. All of the Arab countries, excepting Iran,
use the name Arabian Gulf. However, in Iran they
use the name Persian Gulf, and this is also the
name which has been adopted by the United Nations.
So, among ROPME member countries, the area
from the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz,
to the southern bank of Oman where it leaves the
Oman Gulf, is known as the ROPME Sea Area, or
RSA for short.

Inside of the Strait of Hormuz is defined
as the Inner RSA,
outside is the Middle RSA
and the south coast of Oman is the Outer RSA
Source: ROPME (2013)
*Click to Enlarge

Towards the Creation of a Rich Coastal

As mentioned above, the salinity of seawater in
Kuwait no longer falls, and sometimes in the summer,
where the maximum temperature can exceed
40°C, or even 50°C, the water temperature has
also been known to reach close to 35°C.
More particularly, the shallow tidal flats can easily
be expected to be exposed to severe hot salt
environments in the summer. At the local Kuwait
Institute for Scientific Research (KISR)
there has been an increasing movement to grow
seaweeds to these tidal flats and in the shallow
waters, creating seaweed beds there.
In order to get such activities on track, there is a
need not only to ensure that the load on these
coastal waters does not increase, but also for public
awareness activities to encourage local communities
to take such action. It is particularly important to
involve children, who will lead the next generation.

A type of seaweed (Halodule uninervis)
found in the tidal flats
Only very short types of seaweed were found,
perhaps because of the timing of after the
harsh summer months.

A type of seaweed (Sargassum spp.)
found at a depth of about 5m

Once a year in Kuwait, where the pearl industry
once flourished, a Pearl Diving Festival is held.
Participants from Bahrain and UAE also join in the
event. Based on such interest among citizens in
the sea in surrounding countries, I am sure that
success will begin to be seen through wide-spread
activities aimed at sustainable sea use for young
Many issues seem to remain, but I am currently
looking at a variety of different areas where we may
be able to make contributions to these activities in
the Arabian Gulf, with their social and natural
environments which are so different from any of
the countries that I have experienced in the past.

Atsushi Watanabe
Senior Research Fellow

1) Faiza Al-Yamani, Takahiro Yamamoto,
Turki Al-Said, Aws Alghunaim (2017)
Dynamic hydrographic variations in northwestern
Arabian Gulf over the past three decades:
Temporal shifts and trends derived from long-term
monitoring data. Marine Pollution Bulletin
122 : 488–499.
2) ROPME (2013). State of the Marine Environment
Report- 2013. ROPME/GC-16 /1-ii Regional
Organization for the Protection of the Marine
Environment, Kuwait, 225 p.

Posted by OPRI at 15:00 | この記事のURL | コメント(0)
Ocean Jigsaw Puzzle Piece Series - Use of the Ocean and the Right to Operate Fisheries [2019年05月22日(Wed)]

This blog post was originally uploaded in
Japanese to OPRI's blog
on October 31, 2018.


On October 24, 2018, the Kagoshima District Court
made a decision on a dispute in connection with the
development of Mageshima Island in Kagoshima
Prefecture, the proposed relocation site for Field
Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) of U.S. carrier-based
aircraft. According to a news report, fishermen filed
lawsuits alleging that sand and soil ran into the
ocean due to deforestation of Mageshima Island and
damaged their rights to operate fisheries. They
requested that the prefecture order the development
company to restore the fishing grounds, but the
Kagoshima District Court dismissed the plaintiff’s
claim (Nishinippon Shimbun [October 24, 2018]).

This short essay uses the term, “right to operate
fisheries” to mean an individual right to conduct
fishing activities to make a living. On the other hand,
the term “fishing right” is generally understood in
Japan under the Fisheries Act as the right of a
Fisheries Cooperative Association to allow members
to operate fisheries within its boundaries. However,
internationally, there are cases in which the right is
not given per sea area but per type of fish to
individual fishing boats to catch a certain amount of
fish. (This system is also used in Japan for certain
types of fish.) There is a view that the right to
operate fisheries falls under the category of human
rights under the Japanese constitution and under
international law as freedom of occupation choice.
What was alleged by the plaintiff in the above lawsuit
in connection with the development of Mageshima
Island was violation of the right to operate fisheries,
which each fisherman should have under the Forest
Act. (They alleged that the Forest Act should
guarantee the property rights of the residents who
live near the development area if there is an outflow
of sand and soil, landslides or natural disasters such
as floods due to forestry development.) The right to
operate fisheries of an individual can be protected,
directly or indirectly through various laws under the
Japanese legal system.

Regarding ocean use, when problems arise in
connection with the right to operate fisheries, they
can be due to large-scale development activities as
in the case of Mageshima Island or between
fishermen or between fishermen and their Fisheries
Cooperative Association. In Japan, there is a famous
case titled “Beach Riot Lawsuit” (Hama-no-ikki-
sosho), in which permission granted by the
administration of Iwate Prefecture became a problem
when they allowed fixed-net salmon fishing only to
the members of Fisheries Cooperative Associations
and influential individuals living in a coastal area and
did not allow small-scale fishermen to catch salmon.
The UN Human Rights Committee decided that
Iceland’s unfair allocation of individual transferable
quotas (ITQs)−a transferrable right to catch a
certain amount of fish−is a violation of the non-
discrimination principle stipulated in Article 26 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The judgment of the latter in particular includes
points which should be considered in Japan, where
the introduction of ITQs have in recent years been
the subject of much discussion.

Professor Kase, of Teikyo University, a specialist in
Fishery Economics, pointed out that the “two-
dimensional adjustment” is important in relation to
the use of the ocean. There can be a situation such
that, “if there is a fishing net attached to the sea
floor, called sashiami, you cannot use a trawl net in
that area. You have permission to catch fish with a
trawl net, but if someone else has permission to use
sashiami in the same area, you are not allowed to
operate fisheries in the area.” As mentioned above,
as the entities which exercise specific fishing rights
under the Fisheries Act, Fisheries Cooperative
Associations control their members’ use of such
rights. They also conduct negotiations with the
government and companies specializing in farming
and renewable energy. The expansion of fishing
rights is currently under review, but if it does
happen, there is a possibility that maintaining order
regarding the use of coastal areas could become
more difficult. Fisheries Cooperative Associations
need to continue to work as controllers of the use of
the ocean. On the other hand, recent cases suggest
the importance of considering ways to protect the
right to operate fisheries of individual fishermen,
together with the fishing rights of Fisheries
Cooperative Associations, as these rights are not
protected by ownership, unlike agricultural farmers.
This is also a task for achieving the SDG14 (14.b)
, to "provide access for small-scale artisanal
fishers to marine resources and markets."

Murakami 1.jpg
An offshore wind turbine operating along Fukuejima
Island in Nagasaki Prefecture.
It also functions as an active fishing location.
(Source: Goto City Hall)

Yuhei Murakami,
Research Fellow

Posted by OPRI at 15:00 | この記事のURL | コメント(0)
Latest news - Courtesy Visit by H.E. Ms. Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, Minister of Education, Science and Culture of Iceland [2019年05月20日(Mon)]

President Atsushi Sunami of the Ocean Policy
Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace
Foundation (OPRI-SPF) received a courtesy visit from
H.E. Ms. Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, Minister of Education,
Science and Culture of Iceland, on May 15, 2019.

In the discussions, the two sides recognized the
importance of promoting cooperation for Arctic
policy and scientific research that reflects the
strengths of Japan and Iceland, and exchanged
information regarding the Arctic Science Ministerial
Meeting and Arctic Circle Regional Forum expected
to be held in Japan in 2020, discussing future plans
for these meetings. Furthermore, both sides shared
the view to continue close relations between
OPRI-SPF and Iceland regarding Arctic policy

OPRI-SPF will continue its research activities on the
Arctic region in an effort to contribute to the further
advancement of Japan’s Arctic policies.

Iceland 5.15 1.png
H.E. Ms. Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, Minister of Education,
Science and Culture of Iceland (center)

Iceland 5.15 2.png
View of the discussions

Iceland 5.15 3.png
OPRI-SPF President Atsushi Sunami (left) and
H.E. Ms. Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, Minister of Education,
Science and Culture of Iceland

For more information on OPRI-SPF's research
activities regarding the Arctic region, please
see here.

Posted by OPRI at 14:00 | この記事のURL | コメント(0)
Latest news - OPRI-SPF Participates in the Arctic Circle China Forum [2019年05月16日(Thu)]

President Atsushi Sunami and researchers from the
Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa
Peace Foundation (OPRI-SPF) participated in the
Arctic Circle China Forum held in Shanghai, China,
from May 10-11, 2019.

For more information, please access the article
from the below link.

OPRI-SPF Participates in the Arctic Circle
China Forum

Arctic Circle 2.jpg
OPRI-SPF President Atsushi Sunami delivers a
speech titled "Japan's Contributions to the
Sustainable Development of the Arctic and OPRI's
Relevant Efforts" during the "Arctic Science and
Innovation" plenary session of the Arctic Circle
China Forum

Posted by OPRI at 10:00 | この記事のURL | コメント(0)
| 次へ