The governmental ocean policy headquarters' advisory council is scheduled to publish around the end of March an opinion concerning the promotion and creation of new marine industries. Keidanren, therefore, announced on March 17 "proposal for promoting the marine industries."
Efforts toward promoting marine industries
Domestically, exploration and development of the following marine resources/energy should be promoted:
(1) Concerning methane hydrate, steady exploration of the amount of resources and offshore production tests should be implemented in preparation for the start of a commercialization project.
(2) Concerning sea-floor hydrothermal deposit, exploration and development of places such as Okinawa should be promoted in preparation for the start of a commercialization project.
(3) Concerning cobalt-rich crusts and rare earths, steady exploration of areas around Minamitorishima Island should be conducted.
(4) Concerning oil and natural gas, it is important to continuously conduct foundation test boring in waters near Japan.
(5) Concerning marine energy, it is necessary to set up a system in which parties concerned, including local governments, private-sector companies and fishery industry representatives, cooperate to implement oceanic field demonstration tests on offshore wind power generation.
Commercialization of oil and natural gas in the ocean is proceeding overseas. Engineering companies, therefore, need to cooperate with or acquire companies abroad. Exporting of infrastructure packages to places such as developing countries based on promotion by government leaders should also be considered.
Strengthening foundation of marine development
First, the ocean policy headquarters should exercise leadership to strengthen the government's promotion system. In addition, a council involving the government, industry and academic institutions should be set up to formulate a strategy for marine industry promotion.
Second, legislation over the management and use of the exclusive economic zone, etc. is needed. Third and fourth, the security system for territorial waters and human resources training should be reinforced and promoted, respectively.