Professor, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology
In October 2016, parties came to an agreement on establishing the world's largest marine protected area (MPA) in the Antarctic Ross Sea. While an MPA gives an image of a permanent and total fishing ban in the area concerned, the Ross Sea MPA in reality includes the gathering of scientific data through fishing, management and research monitoring plans following the establishment of the MPA, and periodic review of effectiveness and needs of the MPA. It remains to be seen whether the Ross Sea MPA will be able to achieve the management required for the objectives of a MPA in its true meaning, including the conservation of marine ecosystems and sustainable use of marine living resources based on scientific data.
Special Research Fellow, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation
The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States has led to heightened concerns regarding US-Japan maritime security cooperation, following an election campaign in which he raised the banner of "America First" (prioritization of its citizens) and also expressed discontent regarding the cost of maintaining U.S. military bases in Japan. Should the stability be undermined in the Asia-Pacific region, there will be huge consequences not only for the economies of the U.S. and Japan, but also for China. It would not be an overstatement to say that Japan's current most strategic issue should be US-Japan maritime security cooperation for the maintenance of order on the oceans.
Vice Councilor, Kesennuma-city Education Board
The "Ocean Education Children's Summit in Tohoku" was held in Kesennuma-city, an area still recovering from the Great East Japan Earthquake. This summit served as the culmination of combined efforts between the education boards of Kesennuma City and Hirono City in Iwate Prefecture regarding the promotion of ocean education. The children were able to further their mutual understanding through making presentations and exchanging opinions on ocean education activities being undertaken in various areas of the Tohoku region. The summit allowed us to reconfirm the importance of learning through the ocean, and also gave us hints for the further promotion of ocean education.