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Message from the President

Asahiko Taira President, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)

Asahiko Taira
President
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology

Hiking up Mauna Kea on the Island of Hawaii gives us a spectacular panoramic view of vast volcanic landscape, overlooking many of scoria cones with craters on their top. Far in the distance, you can see a giant shield volcano, Mauna Loa looming. The Island of Hawaii, an island in the middle of the Pacific, has been formed by shield volcanoes, one overlapping the other, due to hotspot activities. This island is the unique point of the Earth system where a new interface among the atmosphere, the ocean, and the land is created, and where new life activities begin.

The Earth is the only planet in the solar system where oceans of water exist on its surface. To open the way to a bright future for humans, we need to understand the roles played by the ocean in the Earth system including the "humanosphere", and to develop new perspectives of the nature and the world, and make the right choices based on these perspectives.

As Japanese islands are located in one of the most geologically-active areas, JAMSTEC, as a Japanese research institute, is responsible for delivering an integrated understanding of the ocean, the Earth, the life, and human activities. Furthermore, we need to promote marine innovation related to marine resource utilization, marine biotechnological progress, and more advanced marine-earth data and information services. Our understanding of the ocean is also the key for success in recovering from the massive 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and also in preparing against serious future natural disasters.

Under themes of "the ocean," "the Earth," and "the life," JAMSTEC is committed to promoting the world’s most advanced research and technological development projects for Japan, for the world, and for our planet – the Earth.