Miyako City had been organizing the Study Group for ICM until it was forced to suspend activities after receiving massive damage from the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011. The Study Group for ICM then was resumed, with the Ocean Health Check and the rehabilitation/reconstruction of the area. From FY 2013, we are working to continue the Study Group for ICM as voluntary actions that also contribute to post-earthquake reconstruction.
The initiative of ICM in Miyako City began in order to fill the economic gap between the coastal area and inland area in Iwate Prefecture. However, even before the beginning of the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle, in which stakeholders got together to discuss, plan, implement, examine and re-plan the project, the city was hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake. After the earthquake, Miyako City had a tremendous amount of rehabilitation/reconstruction work to do, and it was forced to make many important decisions that would significantly affect future city development, without adequate discussions or plans. Under this circumstance, as the first phase, the Study Group meetings for ICM were held with a focus on the Ocean Health Check of Miyako Bay and a progress report on rehabilitation/reconstruction. It was agreed that the citizens would take over the facilitating role and re-launch the Study Group for ICM to reduce the burden on the city.
As part of the study, OPRI had been discussing with various stakeholders ways to implement ICM led by citizens with the involvement of the Miyako City government.
Miyako City hopes to conduct city development through mutual cooperation from the mountain area, internal land area and coastal area, where they have different industries, with a focus on the Hei River, which runs through the city from its source to mouth. There is also an area where it seems the spirit of ICM has been already practiced, the Omoe Fishermen's Association Area, which faces the Pacific Ocean. Our interviews with the people in the mountain, internal land, and coastal areas reconfirmed the high potential of Miyako City, recommended by Iwate Prefecture, to promote ICM as one of the model sites.
The Port of Miyako marked the 400th anniversary since its opening in FY 2015. In FY 2016, the Iwate National Athletic Meet will be held. Under these circumstances, the importance of the Study Group and Council of ICM is expected to increase.
In December 2010, activities for ICM began in Miyako City. Using the network that was established even before the Great East Japan Earthquake, the Fishery Science Museum, the Iwate prefectural government, the Miyako City government, the Fishermen's Association, researchers for fisheries-related studies, local NPOs, educators, and OPRI gathered and exchanged opinions with a focus on the possibility of implementing ICM. The Iwate prefectural government (Coastal Area Development Division), the local host, explained ways to view the "creation of an environment to generate new businesses using multi-functions of ocean space."