Ocean Newsletter

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No.442 January 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

A new chapter in ocean education, research and capacity-building commenced at the World Maritime University with the inauguration of the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute on 8 May 2018. With the aim of passing on a sustainable ocean to future generations, creation of the new research institute in WMU is expected to lead to the building of cooperative relationships with a variety of ocean stakeholders as well as research and capacity development programmes to address some of the most intractable problems concerning anthropogenic impacts on the ocean environment and its many resources.

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The Importance of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

Toshio YAMAGATA
Project Principal Scientist, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) / President, Japan Marine Science Foundation

It is said that with the serious effects on the global environment from human activities, there is a possibility that the earth system is running out of control towards becoming a “Hothouse Earth.” As accurate understanding of current situations is important for sustainable development, there is an urgent need for all stakeholders to cooperate in creating a system that can help to accurately understand what is happening to the earth system. While the process of establishing an observation network and patiently maintaining and managing the data it obtains may seem to be a dull process, we cannot afford to let investments in such infrastructures lapse.

The Manyoshu and the Ocean

Nobuyuki SAKAMOTO
Director, Takaoka Manyo Historical Museum

The Manyoshu Anthology (“Japan's oldest song collection”) contains many poems relating to the ocean. In addition to featuring many words relating to the oceans, seascapes also play a large role in the lyrical expressions of the Manyo poems. The place names featured in the Manyoshu have been esteemed since the Heian period, being passed on as utamakura (“poem pillows,” a category of poetic words often featuring place names), and thus communicating and preserving Japan’s culture in a multi-layered way at many ocean sites. To treasure the Manyo seascapes is also to protect Japanese culture.

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