OPRI has engaged in various activities to establish a culture of integrated management and sustainable development of the oceans by Japan, an ocean state surrounded by the seas.
In 2002, the Institute set up the Committee on Marine and Coastal Research, which has studied the ocean policies of other countries, exchanged opinions with both domestic and overseas organizations involved with the oceans, and organized research seminars with researchers, government administrations, and the media in order to stimulate deeper discussion of the ocean policies that Japan should pursue. In November 2005, the outcome of these discussions was compiled and submitted to the government and political parties as the Recommendations for Ocean Policy in the 21st Century. These recommendations were released to the public in order to convince them of the importance of enacting the Basic Act on Ocean Policy, and of proper management of our national territory, which extends into the sea.
In response, a multi-partisan team of Diet members and ocean experts from various fields formed the Study Group on the Basic Act on Ocean Policy (with House of Councilors member Keizo Takemi acting as facilitator, and the House of Representatives member Shigeru Ishiba acting as chairman). Acting as the secretariat of the study group, OPRI facilitated compilation of the Ocean Policy Outline, together with the Overview of the Basic Act on Ocean Policy (provisional title). As a result, the Basic Act on Ocean Policy was finally enacted in April 2007 as a bill sponsored by a multi-party group of Diet members.
The Institute continued its role as secretariat in the Study Group for Follow-up of the Basic Act on Ocean Policy--which was established by the Diet members and experts whose efforts had led to introduction of the Act (November 2007-February 2012)--and in the subsequent Study Group on Strategy for the Basic Act on Ocean Policy, operating since February 2012 (facilitator: Shigeru Ishiba, House of Representatives member; acting facilitator: Keizo Takemi, House of Councilors member; and chairman: Yasutoshi Nishimura, the House of Representatives member). The following recommendations were made by the Study Groups, as a result of their deliberations on the measures necessary to promote Japan's ocean policy at the time of the establishment of the Basic Act on Ocean Policy (March, 2008), in the drafting of the measures and their implementation made possible by the Basic Act, and in the creation of the New Basic Plan for Ocean Policy (April, 2013).