On September 15, 2022, the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters held a commendation ceremony and presented a letter of appreciation to the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST).
Commendations are presented yearly by Japan’s Coast Guard in recognition of Hydrography Day, celebrated on September 12, to individuals or groups across Japan who have made significant contributions to their operations. This year, commendations were presented to two individuals and 16 organizations nationwide, with OIST as the only recipient from Okinawa Prefecture.
Then OIST President Peter Gruss received a letter of appreciation from Masahiro Ichijo, Commander of the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters
Then OIST President Peter Gruss was presented with the testimonial by 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters, Commander Masahiro Ichijo. President Gruss expressed his gratitude and prospects for future collaboration, saying: "This year we are also celebrating, as mentioned by Commander Ichijo, the 10th anniversary of our collaboration. We will continue to engage in activities that strengthen our community and further build trusting relationships."
Masahiro Ichijo, Commander of the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters
Commander Masahiro Ichijo said, “This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 11th Regional Headquarters and the 10th year of our cooperative relationship with OIST. It is a great pleasure for us to present a commendation to OIST on such a memorable occasion."
OIST and the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters first signed a Cooperation Agreement in March 2012. OIST has since received a great deal of cooperation from the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in the installation of scientific observation equipment for oceanographic research and surveys. Data from this equipment is vital for many projects, such as development of advanced simulations of ocean currents in the waters surrounding Okinawa.
OIST and the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters have collaborated and developed a tidal current simulation system that provides hourly information on the tidal currents in the waters around the Kerama islands, where tidal currents can be intense. The information can be checked up to three weeks in advance.
One of the collaborative activities to reach fruition is the Tidal Current Predictor for the Kerama islands, which was launched in August 2020. The system can be used for marine leisure activities in the waters around the Kerama islands where tidal currents are strong, as well as for search and rescue operations in the event of a marine accident.
Associate Professor Satoshi Mitarai of OIST Marine Biophysics Unit
Associate Professor Satoshi Mitarai of the Marine Biophysics Unit at OIST, who has conducted the research in cooperation with the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters, expressed his gratitude for their partnership to date stating, "As we are working to understand the effect of turbulent flows on organisms and to quantify the effects on the biogeographic distribution and biogeochemical cycling, it is essential for us to be able to conduct experiments on and in the ocean. For such a small research team like ours to embark on such a large ocean expedition, we need support from the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters and the Naha Coast Guard, who are experts on the ocean, in a variety of situations. We are also extremely grateful that our scientific research is being used for the safety and security of the people of Okinawa."