The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development began in January 2021. It was proclaimed during the seventy-second session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2017, and for the next decade, until 2030, initiatives with a particular focus on the ocean, a sector with many areas that remain largely unknown, will be pursued with a view to realizing various sustainable development goals (SDGs), especially Goal 14 or SDG14 (Life Below Water).
As Japan professes itself to be a maritime but also a science and technology state, the promotion of ocean science is an important issue, constituting the basis of its marine policy. Japan is also expected to show leadership in terms of diplomacy related to science and technology. Nevertheless, coordination among industry, government, academia, and the private sector in the field of ocean science in Japan is not always sufficient. The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science is not meant to be implemented by ocean researchers alone. Instead, co-design, co-production, and co-delivery work should be undertaken on a collaborative basis with various concerned parties. In this connection, in August 2020, the Japan Society of Ocean Policy and The Sasakawa Peace Foundation’s Ocean Policy Research Institute established the Study Group on the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science as a base for collaboration and have since been promoting discussions toward this end.
Marking the start of the Decade of Ocean Science, this collection of initiatives was planned and produced in response to a proposal put forth by this Study Group with the aim of disseminating to the world the ocean science initiatives that have been carried out to date in Japan. Nothing would please us more than knowing that the use of this collection of initiatives by various parties engaged in marine activities in Japan and overseas is helping to promote further collaboration and accelerating and promoting cross-sectional initiatives for the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science.
Chairperson, Japan Society of Ocean Policy
President, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation