With the aim of promoting the "Co-existence between Man and the Ocean," the Ocean Policy Research Foundation, the predecessor of the Ocean Policy Research Institute, began think-tank operations in 2000, through conducting research, making policy recommendations and disseminating information on ocean policies, and also contributed to the enactment of the Basic Act on Ocean Policy in 2007.
Since then, OPRI has actively participated in international conferences and dialogues on ocean governance, and has continued to carry out think-tank activities for the materialization of the 12 fundamental measures outlined in the Basic Act on Ocean Policy, and the advancement of their implementation.
OPRI plans to continue the activities of the Ocean Policy Research Foundation, with its expertise and networks, and conduct research, communication, and information sharing activities on the ocean both domestically and abroad.
Under international initiatives aimed at the new international order of seas, such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the sustainable development and use of the ocean, OPRI is striving to promote the following ocean policies and the implementation and formulation of specific measures to drive them, in order to integrally and systematically tackle issues that are mutually and closely related on the ocean and coastal areas.
OPRI is investigating and researching the measures that need to be taken in each area of the fundamental measures outlined in the Basic Act on Ocean Policy to integrally and systematically cope with ocean issues that our country is currently facing, and making the necessary recommendations based on these findings. The main proposals OPRI has made to the government are outlined below.
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.
The ocean constitutes 70% of Earth's surface and its issues are international in nature, meaning global collaboration and cooperation under an international framework is essential for its betterment. In keeping with this idea, OPRI has actively participated in international discussions on ocean issues and has communicated our country's initiatives along with observing and exchanging ideas on advanced initiatives undertaken by other countries and international organizations.
A wide range of problems exist regarding the oceans--such as those involving the environment, climate, resources, fisheries, energy, maritime affairs, and security, etc.--and these problems are closely interrelated. In order to address them, our policies must aim for integrated management and sustainable development of the oceans, in accordance with United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other international frameworks for sustainable development. Following enactment of the Basic Act on Ocean Policy in 2007--aimed at implementation of relevant policy in a comprehensive and systematic manner--Japan is moving towards achievement of an integrated ocean policy.
Problems involving ocean space are closely interrelated, and need to be considered as a whole. In order to pursue an integrated ocean policy, it is essential--in addition to preparing opportunities for engaging in cross-sectional and comprehensive discussion--to provide information on ocean related issues, the latest documents, data, and trends, etc., to a greater audience in an appropriate manner. Before its transformation into OPRI, OPRF provided cross-sectional, comprehensive information from the viewpoint of both natural and social science as a means of increasing interest in ocean related issues, not only among ocean experts, but also among the public at large. In this manner, the foundation has facilitated formulation of ocean policy.