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Research Areas & Themes ( 2013 ): Natural Resources, Energy & Environment

Global warming mitigation and development of a medium- to long-term energy vision

Project Leader
Project Member(s)  ・   ・ 
Collaborator(s) Hiroshi UJITA(Tokyo Institute of Technology), Yasumasa FUJII(The University of Tokyo), Ryoichi KOMIYAMA(The University of Tokyo), Shunsuke MANAGI(Tohoku University), Koichi Robert KAWARATANI and more
Project Overview

1) Dialogue toward achieving the best energy mix through global optimization
The science of climate change and energy engineering models found through our research have allowed us to figure out a best energy mix achievable through global optimization. To realize the best energy mix, we will talk with experts from Europe, the U.S. and China at international symposia; seek a consensus on climate change science, energy and environmental technologies, and a mechanism to disseminate them; and work to develop shared goals.

2) Future vision for nuclear energy
Based on the lessons learned from the accident at the Fukushima Dai-ich Nuclear Power Station, our research will examine how Japan should use nuclear energy on the precondition that the highest level of safety is ensured. While taking into account climate change mitigation, economic growth and energy security (stably supply), we will propose how Japan should develop and use nuclear energy technologies in a manner that contributes to the world. The proposal will build on the nation's accumulated base for domestic technology development, such as generation 3.5 and generation 4 reactors, technology to reduce the radioactivity of high-level nuclear waste, and fuel enrichment technology. Emphasis will be placed on Japan's technological contribution to the growing number of nuclear power stations to be constructed and operated in developing countries.

Research on the development and use of ocean resources and energy

Project Leader
Project Member(s)  ・ 
Collaborator(s) Masahiko OZAKI, Shigeru TABETA, Takuji WASEDA, Tetsuo YAMAZAKI, Koichi FURUSHO, Masayuki TAKASHIMA, Masatsugu TANIGUCHI, Toyohiko MURAKI, Shouji KAMINOKADO, and more
Project Overview

To establish Japan's strength as a maritime nation, our research will continue to focus on the creation of ocean industries and the protection of security in a nation founded on ocean industries.

1) Creation of new ocean industries
We will study in accordance with the needs of individual ocean industries i) formulation of policies and legislation that would foster the creation of new industries, ii) development of the base for industrial technologies, iii) private entrepreneurship and assistance for entrepreneurs with public funds, and iv) achievement of international competitiveness and implementation of international cooperation. For the creation and development of ocean industries, specific studies will be performed in the fields of i) marine renewable energy, ii) seabed mineral resources, iii) methane hydrate and seabed oil/gas fields, and iv) establishment of an organization for general marine research and industrial development.

2) Security in the development and use of the exclusive economic zones
We will examine the structure needed for securing Japan's interests in resources in the exclusive economic zones and ensuring safety for ocean industries operating there, along with its scale and associated legislation. Our research will also look at the possibility of development-related dialogue and international cooperation with neighboring countries and global leadership over the issue.

These subjects will be discussed by the CIGS Maritime Nation Study Group and the Councilors' Meeting of the Headquarters for Ocean Policy, and the results will be compiled into a proposal. We will organize an international symposium to present it and discuss it with specialists from Asia, Europe and the U.S.

Research on conserving the marine environment of the East China Sea

Project Leader
Project Member(s)  ・ 
Collaborator(s) Shigeru TABETA(The University of Tokyo) and more
Project Overview The oceans play a major role in solving environmental and energy problems, especially global warming. However, such human activities as urbanization and mining development inevitably impact the marine environment. New environmental issues arise whenever human activities go beyond the capacity of the natural resilience of the environment. In this way, the marine environment in the international waters of the East China Sea is continually worsening. Although long-term joint efforts by Japan and China would be essential for restoring and conserving the environment, there has been almost no movement between the two countries toward the marine environment conservation and restoration. The ocean issues lying between Japan and China are diverse. Our research will be conducted with a view toward initiating dialogue by jointly carrying out research on marine environment conservation and then developing it into dialogue and joint research on ocean utilization and development. We aim to 1) Move forward with the collection, organization, and analysis of existing observation data to clarify the state of the marine environment and pollution in the East China Sea and share the findings with experts in Japan and China; 2) Build marine environment simulation models and evaluate and predict human impacts in order to provide information useful in developing plans for pollution cleanup and environmental conservation; and 3) Perform joint research with the University of Tokyo and form a research group including Chinese experts, thus laying the groundwork for Japan-China joint efforts to address ocean issues. The CIGS Japan-China forum will lead this joint research, review its results, and propose a framework for overall efforts, including dialogue on the ocean issues.

Building a platform for international exchange

Project Leader
Project Member(s)  ・   ・ 
Project Overview

1) Exchange with China
We will build a platform for continuous dialogue with China on resources, energy and the environment and upgrade the Japan-China relationship by deepening exchange with Chinese think tanks and experts influential on policy decision-making.

2) Exchange with Europe
We will exchange with European think tanks to share the energy vision for climate change control proposed by CIGS.

3) Exchange with the U.S.
With the goal of sharing the energy vision for climate change control proposed by CIGS, we will engage in exchange with U.S. think tanks and conduct joint research with them with an eye toward contributing to Pacific nations in the fields of marine renewable energy, resources development, and environment and disaster management.

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