(1) The Basic Act on Ocean Policy (Act No. 33 of 2007) states that, since Japan is surrounded by the sea, “the development and use of the oceans are the basis of existence for the economy and society of our State, and ... securing the marine biological diversity and conserving other better marine environment are the basis of the existence of mankind.”
Japan has traditionally developed the foundations of its society and economy through fisheries, shipping, shipbuilding and other industries. At the same time, our country has strived to prepare for threats from the sea such as tsunamis and storm surges. Japan has been taking initiatives to create and use new value provided by the sea, such as marine energy and mineral resources, marine renewable energy, deep - sea living resources and marine leisure activities. Our country has also been addressing issues such as conservation of marine biodiversity, global warming and ocean acidification, in consideration of the sea as an indispensable factor for maintaining the lives of living creatures, including human kind, and from the viewpoint of protecting the global environment.
In recent years, in the Asia-Pacific region, the establishment of the order of the sea based on laws under international cooperation with related countries is needed. Expectations for active development and use of the sea have reached new highs given the changes in social circumstances surrounding the sea, such as the revision of energy strategy in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake and mounting expectations for the development of marine energy and mineral resources, and from the viewpoint of promoting our country’s growth strategy. The sea is also a frontier with unlimited potential, so there have been expectations for challenges for new discoveries and understanding, such as those of biospheres existing in the deep sea floor and under the seabed.
(2) The Basic Act on Ocean Policy also states that it is important to aim to “realize a new oceanic State in harmonization of the peaceful and positive development and use of the oceans with the conservation of the marine environment, under the international cooperation based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other international agreements.”
In light of this, the government has decided to set the following as its basic stance and approach to be adopted to the development of the new Basic Plan on Ocean Policy (the “Plan”)