Ocean Policy

Background and Objective

Our investigative studies aim to discuss the formulation of fundamental measures to promote comprehensive ocean management as outlined in the Basic Act on Ocean Policy. From FY2007 to FY2010, we discussed the state of legislative systems for the comprehensive management of the Exclusive Economic Zones and continental shelf, and compiled our findings into the "Policy Proposals on the Integrated Development, Use and Conservation of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Continental Shelf." Following this, we have been discussing measures to promote integrated coastal management (ICM) to appropriately manage the land and sea areas, where various issues, such as the conflict of interest accompanying the deterioration, development and use of the ocean environment, have been occurring since FY2011.

While our coastal areas serve as places for people to live as well as for industrial activity, various problems including the deterioration in the ocean environment and the conflict of interest mentioned above have occurred due to the fact that these areas are not being managed in an integral and appropriate manner. In response to such situations, ICM has been widely introduced in many countries overseas. The plan was also adopted as an international standard measure in Agenda 21, the action plan outlined at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, and is positioned as one of the 12 fundamental measures in Japan's Basic Act on Ocean Policy, established in 2007.

Although the establishment of the Basic Act on Ocean Policy served as a turning point, with regions progressively starting to make headway into issues surrounding coastal areas, the efforts in Japan have only just begun. Thus, it is important to promote initiatives encompassing the situations of various areas, with the region serving as the core, and observe and follow up on these measures by promoting the "systemization of integrated coastal management" on a national level.

Our investigative studies examine the state of affairs and issues in coastal area management and the state of systems for the management of coastal areas conducted with the region at the core, to promote the implementation of comprehensive management of coastal areas in our country under this kind of awareness of issues, and the institute will make policy proposals based on the findings.

In addition, a new Basic Plan on Ocean Policy, adopted at the cabinet meeting on April 26, 2013, included the passage "In order to promote exploitation and exploration in the EEZ, (omitted) examine the establishment of comprehensive laws and regulations for the management of the EEZ and the continental shelf." OPRI has followed up on the above "Policy Proposals on the Integrated Development, Use and Conservation of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Continental Shelf," and is aiming to contribute to studies regarding the establishment of comprehensive law systems on ocean management for future governmental use.