"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Message from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the Occasion of "Marine Day"

[Date] July 18, 2016
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional Translation
[Full text]

Japan is a maritime nation that prides itself on a sea area which is the sixth-largest in the world, approximately 12 times the size of our land area. The sea has since ancient times provided us with an abundance of food while serving as the medium for goods and people to come and go and a place for children both to play and to learn. Japan attained its modernization by making use of the sea as it built up its industries. It is not an exaggeration to say that the sea has shaped Japan as a nation.

Marine industries are giving rise to new possibilities. In recent years, we have discovered that new energy resources and mineral resources lie dormant in the sea area surrounding Japan. We look forward to a frontier that drives Japan's growth being found in developing ocean energy and mineral resources and in developing marine resources in a way that creates marine platforms and other industries.

We must hand these blessings of the sea down to future generations. To do so, it will be necessary to protect the sea under international law as a public good shared by all of humanity. At the G7 Ise-Shima Summit, the "Three Principles on the Rule of Law at Sea" that I have repeatedly advocated to the international community were adopted into the G7 Ise-Shima Leaders' Declaration. Together with the international community, we will work to ensure the observation of these three principles, namely that states shall make and clarify their claims based on international law, that states shall refrain from unilateral actions which could increase tensions, and that states shall seek to settle disputes by peaceful means.

Since autumn of 2015, young officers from Asian coast guard agencies have been studying maritime safety and security policy in Japan alongside officers from the Japan Coast Guard. Joining together with other countries' will, we shall strengthen our bonds of friendship that protect the sea in order to enhance world peace and prosperity.

It is through bordering the sea and knowing the sea that we gain the wisdom to make best use of the sea. I hope that young people in particular have interest in the sea and connect with it. In order to strengthen our efforts towards marine education, we will launch "Nippon Platform for Marine Education" an organization to promote marine education through 'all-Japan' efforts by industry, academia, and government. We will aim to use this Platform to have marine education put into practice in every municipality by 2025.

I sincerely hope that Marine Day will serve as an opportunity for the Japanese people to become fond of and familiar with the sea and appreciate the benefits we receive from the sea, as well as to think deeply about Japan's future with the sea.

Shinzo Abe

Prime Minister

Director-General of the Headquarters for Ocean Policy