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Policy Proposals  Industrial Technology Proposal for New Basic Plan on Ocean Policy (Summary)

July 17, 2012

The combined area of Japan's territorial seas and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is 4.47 million square kilometers, ranked the sixth largest in the world. In response to the submission made by Japan regarding information on the limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines, the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in April this year recommended that Japan proceed to delineate the outer limits of the continental shelf in certain regions in the Pacific, an extension of 310,000 square kilometers.

Keidanren has compiled a proposal and hopes that it will be reflected in the Japanese government's new basic plan on ocean policy for the next five years on which the Headquarters for Ocean Policy is working.

Key Policy of New Basic Plan on Ocean Policy

1. Management of EEZ, continental shelf and islands

It is necessary to conduct additional research for approval of further extension of continental shelf, improve and develop laws on marine area management as well as to conserve and manage remote islands.

2. Development of Ocean Energy and Mineral Resources

It is necessary to build the government's oceanic database. As for ocean energy and mineral resources, it is essential to study and promote development of methane hydrates, hydrothermal deposits on the seafloor, petroleum and natural gas, rare earth minerals and others. Regarding ocean renewable energy, promotion of demonstration experiments for offshore wind power generation is essential.

3. Countermeasures for Natural Disasters

Discovering generation mechanisms of earthquakes and tsunami as well as improving disaster simulation system to higher precision are necessary.

4. Environmental Contribution

Improvement and development are needed in the following areas: Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to store CO2 under the seabed, eco-friendly ships, exploration of sea routes such as the Arctic sea route, clearing of floating and washed up debris from the Great East Japan Earthquake.

5. Enhancement of Security

It is necessary to strengthen security in nearby waters through territorial sea patrol and other efforts and improve antipiracy measures to counter piracy around the waters off Somalia and the Gulf of Aden.

6. Others

It is necessary to strengthen the maritime industry and cultivate human resources.

Enhancement of Measure-Promoting Structure

Functions of the Headquarters for Ocean Policy should be reinforced in order to exercise its leadership in deciding on important maritime policies. In addition, it is necessary to strengthen the capability of Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) to contribute to industrialization by utilizing its achievements in the field of marine-earth science and technology.

Industrial Technology