Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
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Ports and Harbours Bureau
Sea Area Utilization Technology Development Discussion Gatherings

* Meeting intent

  Together with the remarkable economic development in Asian countries in recent years, the role of ports and harbors in strengthening the globally competitive marine transport function in Japan as bases for the movement of people and goods in coastal areas has expanded. Moreover, to ensure continued economic development in the future, for the development and utilization of sea areas an approach is needed that also gives priority to protection of coastal land and sea area natural environments and ecosystems and supports a recycling society. In addition, in sea areas and especially in coastal areas, facilities such as port and harbor spaces have become more closely related to people's lives, and expectations concerning enhancement of their disaster prevention functions and the formation of spaces as the creation of community facilities opened to the sea have increased.
  Sea area utilization technology at ports and harbors has developed as technologies of various sectors, including shipbuilding, the environment, and the marine products industry, and ocean engineering works technology, have been united to respond to new demands from society. Moreover, the role played by sea area utilization technology in resolving the various issues highlighted above is expected to grow tremendously in the future.
  When promoting technological development it is necessary to sufficiently understand the technological needs related to sea area utilization at each point in time, based on socioeconomic circumstances. Therefore to achieve more adequate, more effective implementation of technology policies concerning sea area utilization in the future, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ports and Harbours Bureau sponsors these informal social gatherings to provide opportunities to hear opinions on the expectations, requests and other thoughts concerning sea area utilization from wide-ranging points of view, from various individuals including academic scholars, experienced individuals and specialists in every sector.

Opinions received at sea area utilization technology development discussion gatherings held from Fiscal 2002 through Fiscal 2004 (summary)
- With the orientation of "coastal area natural environment conservation and creation"-related technology development as a viewpoint -

Image of future ports and harbors spaces

 ·  Based on the future stance Japan should adopt towards the issue of the concentration of population in Tokyo, establish the posture that should be taken for space at each port and harbor (objectives and goals), then create a plan outlining what should be done to achieve those objectives and goals.
 ·  With regard to achieving "enhancement of the distribution function" and "conservation of the natural environment," as well as "assurance of safety and security" from the viewpoint of disaster prevention, all within the same space, it is important to consider how to think about these goals comprehensively, enact measures such as zoning affecting which functions to specialize or emphasize, and have a strategy and visualize the appearance of ports and harbors of the future.
 ·  From one perspective, port and harbor spaces are bases for the culture of the sea, but culture cannot be created if no individuals are involved when creating a culture of the sea. It is necessary to create a vision of how to increase the movement of people.
 ·  The Ports and Harbours Bureau should think about methods of use from the viewpoints of "vigorous activities" combined with "living" and "relaxation."

Creation and evaluation of technology policies

 ·  Ports and harbors have aspects as distribution spaces, living spaces and natural environments, and technology to design these aspects comprehensively into port and harbor spaces is needed. In conjunction with this, a means to tie these aspects to policy planning also is necessary.
 ·  When making a comprehensive evaluation of policies combining various sectors, along with creating the mechanism for assessment from the planning stage through the after-the-fact evaluation, an effort should be made to systematize evaluation criteria and indicators. When doing so, one issue will be how to evaluate values that require a long time to be created, such as restoration and creation of natural environments.

Development of technology policies

 ·  When undertaking technology research and development, cooperation among industry, academia and government, cooperation and coordination among ministries to eliminate vertically separated functions, and cooperation with researchers in various scientific sectors will be needed.
 ·  Considering ways to link sea areas and land areas is extremely important for thinking about the utilization of sea areas.
 ·  When thinking about "coastal areas," it will be necessary to pursue research that incorporates ways of looking at issues from the viewpoint of ecosystems in the water that are not visible from land.
 ·  Studies on technical and policy measures that delve even further into the rise in the ocean surface level and changes in high tides and high seas as a result of factors such as global warming or other climatic changes are needed
 ·  It is important for researchers on coastal area organisms and ecosystems to participate in policy discussions, based on exchanges of information through cooperation. For this purpose, measures to present policy issues to researchers and request their active participation are also important.

Dissemination of information

 ·  With regard to technology policy and research results, it is important to understand international science and technology trends at each point in time and disseminate the originality of information in a timely and effective manner.
 ·  The bureau must provide opportunities that will enable local individuals to think individually about actions to take in the future by learning the latest information on research results etc. as knowledge or direct observation of the present conditions of sea areas.
 ·  Given the number of individuals engaged in the marine products industry, who served to protect coastal area environments in the past, is declining sharply, each individual citizen will be responsible for protecting coastal areas in the future, and providing a wide-ranging education as a base will be critical.
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