OIST and Naha Coast Guard Office sign Comprehensive Collaboration Agreement

Two parties will combine their strengths to enhance Okinawa's maritime safety and security.

OIST and Naha Coast Guard Office sign Collaboration Agreement

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST, Acting CEO/President Albrecht Wagner) and Naha Coast Guard Office (Rear Admiral Katsurou Okawachi) have signed a comprehensive collaboration agreement to enhance their cooperation and collaboration. The two parties will utilize their respective functions to contribute to the enhancement of safe and secure oceanic activities, advancement of science and technology, and development of local communities and human resources.

The signing ceremony was held at OIST on January 27, 2023 with attendance of the Naha Coast Guard Rear Admiral Katsurou Okawachi and Dr. Albrecht Wagner, Acting CEO/President of OIST.

The Naha Coast Guard Office has jurisdiction over five cities and 11 towns and villages on the western main island of Okinawa, including Onna Village where OIST's campus is located, and has been providing water safety trainings for field activities for OIST staff and students as part of the regional cooperation.

Signing ceremony
OIST Acting CEO/President Dr. Albrecht Wagner (left) and Naha Coast Guard Rear Admiral Katsurou Okawachi (right) gave a speach at the signing ceremony.

The official collaboration agreement (Duration: January 27, 2023 to March 31, 2026) was signed to formalize and further enhance the existing partnership with a focus on "combining the on-site operational response capabilities of the Coast Guard and academic capabilities of OIST" in activities and research that contribute to improving safety and security at sea by utilizing the strengths of each organization.

OIST and Naha Coast Guard Office will cooperate and collaborate in the following areas:

  1. Activities and research relating to understanding marine environment and its preservation, promotion of security awareness at sea in local society and disaster risk reduction, and other related activities and research contributing to enhancement of safety and security at sea;
  2. Activities and research for promotion of education and culture leading to enhancement of safety and security at sea;
  3. Activities and research for development of Okinawan local community, such as promotion of tourism and industry, through enhancement of safety and security at sea;
  4. Mutual use of research equipment and facilities;
  5. Matters relating to sharing documents and information, and dissemination of information on activities and research based on this Agreement;
  6. Exchange of personnel; and
  7. Other areas where the Parties agree as necessary to achieve the purpose of this Agreement.

As the first step of implementing of this collaboration agreement, the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Marine Environmental Survey of the Sea Area Surrounding Apogama in Onna-son. Based on this MoU, the two parties will collaborate and cooperate for three years to conduct a marine environmental survey focused on the sea surrounding Apogama. They willuse the acquired and analyzed data to produce academic results and disseminate the obtained information to general public to contribute to marine safety.

Rear Admiral Okawachi and Dr. Wagner
Naha Coast Guard Rear Admiral Katsurou Okawachi (left) and Acting CEO/President of OIST Dr. Albrecht Wagner (right) signed the agreement at the ceremony.

OIST’s Acting CEO/President Wagner said at the signing ceremony, "Through this cooperation and collaboration with the Naha Coast Guard Office, we will be able to conduct observations and other activities that OIST would not be able to do alone, and it will allow us to expand the scope of our research and provide useful data to the public that will contribute to the safety and security at the sea area."

Chief Okawachi expressed his high hopes for the collaboration, saying, "By combining the academic capabilities of OIST with the on-site operational response capabilities of Naha Coast Guard, we have established a new framework that has a great potential for the future."

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