• Ocean Policy Research Institute


    Decade of Ocean Science: Toward Private Deep Sea Explorations (Feature from 2021 Ocean White Paper)

    The 2021 White Paper on the Oceans and Ocean Policy opens with a special interview, “Decade of Ocean Science: Toward Private Deep Sea Explorations”, featuring Patrick Lahey, President of Triton Submarines (hereinafter, “Triton”), Dr. Ken Takai, Director General of the Institute for Extra-cutting-edge Science and Technology Avant-garde Research at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, and Dr. Atsushi Sunami, President of The Sasakawa Peace Foundation.

    This video highlights Mr. Lahey’s passion towards deep-sea dives, as well as images from some of the most remote parts of our ocean, captured by Triton’s acrylic-sphere submersibles.

    *The 2021 White Paper on the Oceans and Ocean Policy is available for download here.

  • Ocean Policy Research Institute


    Progress and Challenges Toward Eliminating IUU Fishing and Harmful Fishing Subsidies (July 6, 2021)

    SPF's Ocean Policy Research Institute (OPRI) held the International Online Symposium "Progress and Challenges Toward Eliminating IUU Fishing and Harmful Fishing Subsidies and Achieving Sustainable Fisheries" on July 6, 2021.

    -Symposium overview-

    With the growth in the world population and the increased demand for marine products, fishery resources are being depleted as a result, making the realization of sustainable fisheries an important global issue. Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, which is one of the main causes of the depletion of fisheries resources, accounts for 20 percent of fish catches and as much as 50 percent in some areas, with economic losses estimated at 10-23.5 billion USD. It is also estimated that 54 percent of high seas fisheries would not be possible without government subsidies, and that globally, 45 billion USD is spent annually on subsidies to fisheries, equivalent to the economic value of 20 percent of the world's catch.

    This year, at the World Trade Organization, world leaders are aiming to reach an agreement to eliminate harmful fishery subsidies. Japan, as a maritime nation that counts seafood as an important part of its culture, continues to depend on the benefits from the ocean that surrounds Japan. This symposium aims to promote discussions on how Japan and other countries around the world can work together and strengthen cooperation to eliminate IUU fishing and harmful fishery subsidies and achieve the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and fishery resources in the context of promoting sustainable fisheries and sustainable development.

  • Ocean Policy Research Institute


    Ocean Forum "Challenges of Pacific Island Countries" (June 16, 2021)

    The Pacific island countries have vast EEZs and play an important role in marine conservation. On the other hand, they are also suffering from significant socio-economic impacts such as climate change, extreme weather and a sharp decline in tourists due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As PALM9 approaches, it was proposed to facilitate discussions on the perspectives for strengthening partnership between Pacific island countries and Japan in overcoming challenges faced by the Pacific Island countries. The discussions were conducted with representatives from the Japanese government and Mie Prefecture, the ambassadors of Pacific island countries, and other experts and stakeholders of Mie Prefecture, which originally planned to host PALM9.

    *The overall program from this webinar is available here.

  • Ocean Policy Research Institute


    Subsea cable development and security prospects: From the Pacific Islands to the Arctic Sea (Oct. 8, 2021)

    Today’s complex geopolitical dynamics make the safety and structural integrity of the undersea cable network a major security concern: from the ocean depths to their landing zones, be them the sandy beaches of the Pacific Islands or the frozen shores of the Arctic. Actually, those two regions, which until recently were on the sidelines, are now coming to the fore of the subsea cable global scene. Fibre-optic connectivity in the Pacific Islands has improved markedly over the last decade. However, cable expansion has become an arena in which long-established regional partners, like Australia and the United States, vie for diplomatic clout and infrastructural positioning vis-à-vis a new subsea cable logistics powerhouse: the People’s Republic of China. The resulting “security anxiety” has effected the suspension, diversion and reconstitution of several cable line projects.

    Meanwhile, much farther North, a trans-Arctic sea cable route is becoming realizable against the backdrop of rising sea temperatures and technological advancement. The new data highway would link northern Europe with Russia, Japan, China and North America along the Northeast Passage, making internet less vulnerable and, at the same time, opening a vector of regional development. It then appears that the incentive for cooperation among Arctic stakeholders is solid. Yet, not dissimilarly from the Pacific Island case, convergence of interests is counterpoised by security concerns and geopolitical algebra.

    In light of this situation, SPF's Ocean Policy Research Institute (OPRI) invited up-and-coming researchers from overseas to examine the challenges and prospects of submarine cable networks, which are expected to expand in the future.

    *The reference materials from this webinar are available here.

  • Asia Peace Initiatives Department


    Webinar: 2021 Political Change in Afghanistan and International Society (August 31, 2021)

    On August 15, 2021, the Taliban seized control of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, marking their return to power after two decades. In fear of retaliation by the Taliban, which was able to sweep across the country at an unexpectedly rapid pace, many foreign governments began to evacuate their citizens and Afghan citizens also flooded to the airport. Scenes of an airplane taking off with people still clinging to the outside of the aircraft seemed to evoke the image of the international community abandoning Afghanistan.

    After the attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001, a coalition of the willing mainly led by the U.S. and the U.K. launched Operation Enduring Freedom and attacked the Taliban, which was harboring the mastermind of the September 11 attacks, Osama Bin Laden. After a transitional government, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was established in 2003. Since then, the international community has been actively involved in supporting Afghanistan's peace-building efforts.

    In November 2001, Japan enacted the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law and the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) resupplied U.S. naval vessels in the Indian Ocean. In addition, Official Development Assistance(ODA) projects and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) continued to provide support. However, we are now faced with the prospect that the results of these efforts will be erased.

    What has been the result of the international community's involvement in Afghanistan over the past two decades? How has the Taliban, labeled as "terrorists," been transformed? Will the engagement of Iran, Russia, and China lead to a geopolitical realignment of the surrounding region? And how can the international community contribute to the country's peace and stability in the future? We held the webinar in the hope that it would provide an opportunity to think about these questions with experts and practitioners.


    Sasakawa Peace Foundation, "Connectivity and Trust Building in Islamic Civilization" MEXT Grant-in-Aid for Transformative Research Areas (A), Japan Platform (International NGO)


    Opening Remarks

    Dr. Atsushi.Sunami (President, Sasakawa Peace Foundation)


    Dr. Akiko Horiba (Senior Program Officer, Asia Peace Initiatives Department, Sasakawa Peace Foundation)


    ・Prof. Koichiro Tanaka (Professor, Keio University)

    ・Mr. Tadamichi Yamamoto (Former Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, United Nations, UNAMA)

    ・Mr. Takeshi Komino (General Secretary, CWS Japan / Co-Chairpersons, Japan Platform)

    ・H.E. Dr. Shaida Mohammad Abdali (Ambassador, Embassy of Afghanistan in Japan)


    Prof. Masako Ishii (Professor, Rikkyo University /Board Member, Japan Platform)

  • Asia Peace Initiatives Department


    Webinar ”Japanese Business and Human Rights Risks in Southeast Asia – Reports from Thailand and Indonesia” (July 19, 2021)

    Recently, cases such as the Uyghur forced labor in China and the coup d'état in Myanmar have brought attention to Japanese business enterprises regarding their business and human rights response to such issues. Similar cases are believed to increase as ESG investment and Biden’s human rights diplomacy comes to the forefront. Japanese companies should be sufficiently prepared for such events in the future.

    These cases have not suddenly emerged, having been reported from long before. They became visible recently, but it is too late to respond after it happens. Companies should take actions such as human rights due diligence and remedy through grievance mechanisms in the peacetime. To do so, they should grasp the human rights situation abroad and how they impact the company and the sector as a whole well in advance.

    The Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) launched a new project entitled “Promoting Responsible Business Conduct” in October 2020, and began activities such as sharing relevant articles and supporting the establishment of grievance mechanisms in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders. As one of these activities, we commissioned research on human rights risks for Japanese business enterprises in Southeast Asia to experts and professional organizations on-site. In this panel conference, we invited those experts and professional organizations, and shared the results of the research.

  • Asia Peace Initiatives Department


    Webinar ”Considering the Future of Men's Counseling–Opportunities for Healing and Harmony” 6/25/2021

    "I want to stop violence against my family." To assist men with this request, the first telephone counseling service in Japan exclusively for men – the Hotline for Men in Distress – was established 25 years ago.

    It started as a small private organization, but has gradually expanded, and now more than eighty local governments have started counseling services. This April, a new website for men’s counseling, “Otokokoro-net,” was launched with the goal of linking those who wish to receive counseling, make connections, or assist with men’s counseling. 

    In this changing society, men are facing an abundance of challenges such as suicide, domestic violence, abuse, as well as power and sexual harassment. However, for men who believe that “men shouldn’t give up easily,” or that “men should be strong,” showing vulnerability by speaking with a counselor can be a highly risky move. Counseling that targets men must take into account the potential for these conflicted feelings and provide a space to think together. Men’s counselors are required to face these particular difficulties facing men in addition to having expert counseling knowledge. In order to develop a culture of counseling for men, Japan Training Seminars for Men’s Counseling have been periodically convened to help men’s counselors gain experience. (In February 2022, the sixth seminar is planned to be held in Osaka sponsored by the Osaka Municipal Gender Equality Center Central in collaboration with the Japan Men’s Counseling Forum.)

    How do we define men’s counseling, which has been developed over the past 25 years based on the experience of both consultor and counselor, and where is this type of counseling heading in the future? In this webinar, to commemorate the launch of “Otokokoro-net,” we invited practitioners from inside and outside of Japan to share their knowledge and experience and explore opportunities for healing and harmony through men’s counseling.  


    Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan Men’s Counseling Forum, Osaka Municipal Gender Equality Center Central


    Opening Remarks

    Mr. Itsu Adachi, Executive Director, Sasakawa Peace Foundation


    Dr. Akihiro Ueda, Program Officer, Sasakawa Peace Foundation


    ・Development and Current Situation of Men's Counseling by Dr. Tomotaka Hamada, Associate Professor, Kyoto Tachibana University

    ・On-site efforts of Men's Counseling by Mr. Michihito Fukushima, Representative of Directors, Japan Men's Counseling Forum (JMCF)

    ・Roles of Local Governments for Men's Counseling by Ms. Yoko Tanaka, Leader, Planning and Coordination Division, Osaka City Gender Equality Promotion Foundation

    ・Men's Counseling in Hong Kong by Mr. Wong Pak Hin Patrick, Registered Social Worker, Caritas Hong Kong

    ・Men's Counseling in Germany by Mr. Eberhard Schäfer, Co-Founder, Berlin Father’s Center 


  • International Peace and Security Department


    Webinar Japan U.S. Alliance Study, March 22, 2021: Problems with China’s "Coast Guard Law” and Japan's Response

    On January 23, 2021, China’s “Coast Guard Law” was enacted and came into effect on February 1, 2021. Some Japanese media reports have focused on the point of that the China Coast Guard has been given the authority to use weapons, and that it is a domestic law that provides the basis for various measures that are not authorized by international law. However, there is no clear answer as to what should be concern with “Coast Guard Law”.

    In addition, discussions on how Japan should respond have just begun. In this webinar, we analyzed the “Coast Guard Law” from the perspective of operation and international law, and discussed its problems and Japan's response.

  • International Peace and Security Department


    The 3rd SPF Security Seminar “Taiwan Contingency and Japan’s Role”

    The Sasakawa Peace Foundation provides information about international security issues pertaining to Japan on the website "International Information Network Analysis (IINA)." In addition to publishing information on IINA, we occasionally hold public seminars to develop and share a deeper understanding of international security topics.

    The third public seminar of this series, "Taiwan Contingency and Japan's Role," covered issues of global interest including China-Taiwan relations, the possibility of a Taiwan contingency, and Japan's potential response. The panelists, which included experts on cross-strait relations, U.S. foreign and security policy, air power and new operational domains (cyberspace and space), and Japanese security legislation, discussed the current situation and future challenges for Japan.

    Speakers (in order of presentation, titles omitted):

    Yasuhiro Matsuda, Professor, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo

    Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation

    Jun Nagashima, Adjunct Instructor, Graduate School of Security Studies, National Defense Academy, Lieutenant General (Retired)

    Susumu Nakamura, Senior Visiting Fellow (IINA Editor), The Sasakawa Peace Foundation / Senior Researcher of Keio Research Institute at SFC, Rear Admiral (Retired)


    Noboru Yamaguchi, Senior Visiting Fellow (IINA Editor), The Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Professor / International University of Japan, Lieutenant General (Retired)

  • Asia Peace Initiatives Department


    Webinar ”Learning from Colombia's migration policy - implication to Asia” (May 25, 2021)

    The Embassy of Colombia in Japan and SPF co-hosted a webinar ”Learning from Colombia's migration policy - implication to Asia” on May 25, 2021.

    Mr. Juan Francisco Espinosa, Director of Migración Colombia, who is leading the refugee policy in Colombia, spoke about the "TPSV " (Temporary Protection Statute for Venezuelan Migrants). Experts on global and Asian trends on refugee protection from Asia also joined the webinar to discuss implications to Asia.


    Initial Welcome:

    Dr. Atsushi Sunami, President, SPF

    Opening Remarks:

    Mr. Santiago Pardo, Ambassador of Colombia to Japan

    Keynote Presentation:

    Mr. Juan Francisco Espinosa, Director of Migración Colombia (Migratory Authority of Colombia)


    Dr. Naoko Hashimoto, Associate Professor, Hitotsubashi University

    Dr. Nino Viartasiwi, Senior Research Fellow, Resilience Development Initiative

    Mr. Rafendi Djamin, Senior Advisor, Human Rights Working Group

    Q&A Session

    Closing remarks:

    Mr. Santiago Pardo, Ambassador of Colombia to Japan

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The Sasakawa Pacific Island Nations Fund

This page has information about the Sasakawa Pacific Island Nations Fund activities until FY 2017.

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The Sasakawa Pan Asia Fund

This page has information about the Sasakawa Pan Asia Fund activities until FY 2017.

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The Sasakawa Japan–China Friendship Fund

This page has information about the Sasakawa Japan–China Friendship Fund activities until FY 2017.

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The Sasakawa Middle East Islam Fund

This page has information about the Sasakawa Middle East Islam Fund activities until FY 2017.

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