Tokyo, Japan — The PEMSEA/Japan Joint Seminar, entitled "Integrated Coastal Management in the Seas of East Asia" was held on 18 July in Tokyo, Japan. The Seminar was hosted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and the Ocean Policy Research Foundation (OPRF) and co-organized with PEMSEA.
The Seminar was attended by more than 100 participants, including representatives from PEMSEA Country and non-Country Partners and from various government agencies, academe and research institutions and the private sector in Japan.The participants shared information on the key activities/initiatives of PEMSEA and Japan in relation to coastal and ocean management and governance.Some key messages that came out of the interactions included:The Japanese Basic Act and Basic Plan on Ocean Policy is a demonstration of Japan's commitment to promote a comprehensive and integrated approach to ocean issues, and contribute to the regional and global efforts concerning sustainable development of coasts and oceans. The Basic Act of Japan serves as a good example to various participating countries of PEMSEA in ensuring legislative support to actions on ocean management.The PEMSEA experience, as demonstrated in the case of Manila Bay (Philippines) and Xiamen (PR China), provide good examples of the application of the ICM framework and process in coastal and ocean management, highlighting the key roles played by local governments and stakeholders.PEMSEA's Framework for Sustainable Development of Coastal Areas provides a strategic structure and approach for integrated coastal and ocean management, which links key elements of governance with cross-cutting sustainable development issues.The various initiatives, researches and new technologies presented by Japanese scientists and institutions provided good examples and initiatives related to: management of enclosed coastal seas; preservation of water quality; advancement of fishery industry; tidal flat restoration; etc. The concept of SATO-UMI (better life through wise and sustainable use of coastal environment) was also presented, which has commonalities with ICM.Based on the presentations and discussions made, coastal management in Japan in general is still sectoral in nature, although efforts to establish a more integrated approach is being promoted, particularly with the enactment of the Basic Ocean Act.Both PEMSEA and Japan recognize the benefit of establishing collaborative activities building on the experiences and expertise of both parties.At the close of the Joint Seminar, Prof. Raphael P.M. Lotilla, Executive Director of the PEMSEA Resource Facility invited all participants to the East Asian Seas Congress 2009, as a venue for further nurturing cooperation between Japan and PEMSEA.It is expected that the participants of the Seminar who came from various Japanese entities/institutions related to coastal and ocean management will actively engage in the activities of PEMSEA in the near future.