Message from OPRI on the spread of COVID-19


We offer our prayers for those who have succumbed to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and our sympathies to those currently afflicted. In addition, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks and respect to the medical staff and other people who are fighting the new coronavirus every day.

The Ocean Policy Research Institute of The Sasakawa Peace Foundation has closed our building to prevent spread of the infection, and has decided for the time being to cancel all events such as the monthly "Ocean Forum" usually held in the convention hall of our building.

At present, our staff is working from home to protect themselves and their families. In order to maintain safety while continuing our research and other activities, we are rapidly improving our IT systems for web conferencing and internal electronic approvals.

The spread of the new coronavirus infection poses an unknown challenge to modern society, and requires us to concentrate all our wisdom and actions in response as we aim for a sustainable society. It also greatly affects various activities related to the ocean and demands we reconsider how we will confront ocean issues.

As the world, connected by the oceans, now faces unprecedented difficulties, it is important for all of mankind to work together to overcome them. Most of the international conferences on the oceans have been canceled or postponed, but OPRI will continue to promote the SDGs and further strengthen the cooperation we have cultivated over many years with ocean-related partners around the world. We will analyze the crisis we are facing from our unique perspective as a world-leading think tank specializing in maritime issues, promote cooperation among various stakeholders, make effective policy recommendations, and carry out information dissemination.

While keeping the changes affecting our world clearly in view, we will continue our research with the unwavering mission of "passing the ocean on to future generations 200 years from now in a healthy state, as the common heritage of mankind."

Atsushi Sunami
President of The Ocean Policy Research Institute
The Sasakawa Peace Foundation

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