Press ReleaseDispatch of a combined Japan-US Research Group for establishment of a regional coast guard for the three nations of Micronesia
March 26, 2009
From March 30 to April 3, a combined Japan-US seven-member research group headed by Makoto Washizu, President of the Institution for Transport Policy Studies, will be dispatched by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) to the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The group will investigate possible forms of support for establishment of a regional coast guard for the three nations of Micronesia (Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Republic of Palau).
The specific mandate of the research group is to investigate current activities, structure of international law and local needs relevant to maritime safety. To this end, the group will visit the Department of Transportation, Communication, and Infrastructure, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Justice, and the local embassies of Japan, US, and Australia in the Federated States of Micronesia, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Transportation and Communications, and Ministry of Resource and Development in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
At six million square kilometers, the territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the three nations of Micronesia are not only the third largest in the world, after the US and Australia, but are also an abundant source of marine resources. Despite their vast marine area, the three nations have a combined land area of approximately 1,400 square kilometres and a population of just 180,000. Hence, appropriate management of the surrounding seas is far from simple without joint efforts between the three islands and cooperation from nearby countries.
Since 1988, SPF has supported the Pacific Islands through The Sasakawa Pacific Island Nations Fund, one of the regional funds maintained by the foundation. During a visit to the Marshall Islands in May 2008, SPF Chairman Jiro Hanyu was asked about the possibility of support for improving maritime safety in the region. This visit set in motion plans for full scale support from SPF with the cooperation of countries connected to the three Micronesian nations; in July 2006, discussions were held with the US State Department and US Coastguard. In September of the same year, meetings were held with the ambassadors of the Federated States of Micronesia and Republic of Palau, and in October, SPF representatives met with Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Australian Navy. In November 2008, at a Micronesian Summit held on Pohnpei Island - the capital of the Federated States of Micronesia - a joint communiqué was made by representatives of the three Micronesian nations to the effect that they would welcome support for the regional coastguard proposed by SPF.
The results of the upcoming Japan-US research mission will form the basis for discussions between SPF, its partner organization The Nippon Foundation, the three nations of Micronesia, and coastguard representatives from Japan, the US, and Australia regarding an appropriate system of cooperation and policy of support to establish a regional coastguard.
Details of the Research Mission
Countries to be visited:
The Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands
March 30, 2009 to April 3, 2009
Research group members:
- Makoto Washizu,
President, Japan International Transport Institute (former Japanese Ambassador to Slovakia)
Managing Director, Nippon Maritime Center
Section Chief, International Affairs Division, Japan Coast Guard HQ/Deputy Managing Director, Nippon Maritime Center
Captain R. Erin Brogan,
Coast Guard Liaison Officer to Commander, Pacific Fleet, U.S. Coast Guard
Lieutenant Commander Eric J. Doucette,
US Coast Guard
Rieko Hayakawa, Coordinator,
The Sasakawa Peace Foundation and The Sasakawa Pacific Island Nations Fund
Program Officer, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation and The Sasakawa Pacific Island Nations Fund
For enquiries regarding the above article and interview requests please contact:
The Sasakawa Peace Foundation General Affairs Department
Mr. Nanri, Ms. Tsuchida