"Japan Seaology" Proposal
(From Toyama to the World)



Toyama Prefecture is located in the center of the Japan Sea Region, and has historically conducted trade and exchange with China, Korea, Russia, and other areas along the opposite coastline since long ago. In recent years, Toyama has aimed at becoming the focal point of Japan Sea exchange through such efforts as enhancing the function progress of the Fushiki Port (specially designed port) and the Toyama Airport (regular flights to Dalian, Seoul, Vladivostok) as well as conducting friendship ties, exchange and cooperation programs with countries along the opposite coastline. Currently, word of "Japan Seaology," proposed by Toyama Prefecture which has a deep connection with the Japan Sea Region, is being spread widely both domestically and internationally.


1. Upside-Down Map Concept

Toyama Prefecture created a "Japan Sea Countries Map" (known as "The Upside-Down Map"). By looking at this upside-down map, the Japan Sea looks like a big lake. Surrounded by land, with the exception of the narrow Tsushima Straits, Souya Straits, and Mamiya Straits, it surrounds the lake-like Japan Sea. The land, North Korean Peninsula, and Japanese Islands appear to be a singular body, and Japan does not appear to be an island country separated from the main land, but instead has the image of a Japan Sea Region in-between seas, and a part of Northeast Asian.
The past concept of Japan as a country of islands must be altered, and we must think with a flexible mindset about its location on the earth, and what type of role it needs to serve.

2. Toward Development of the Japan Sea Region

It is said that the Japan Sea Region will largely develop in the 21st Century. Closely tying together China (country with the largest population in the world), Russia & Siberian areas (places with natural resources), and Japan & Korea (countries with high technological and capital capabilities) holds great potential for limitless possibilities.
However, rapid modernization, industrialization and population centralization are posing a big threat to the future of the world. This is becoming a very serious issue, especially true in Asian, which is home to over half of the world's population.
In recent years, crises that threaten the existence of mankind, such as the exhaustion of natural resources, borderless environmental destruction, and ecocide are becoming a reality.
Amidst this situation, Toyama Prefecture is proposing the establishment of "Japan Seaology," re-considering all of the problems facing the Japan Sea Region under the realization that it is important to search for ways of how to act from now on in order to make sustainable development possible.

3. Goals of "Japan Seaology"

"Japan Seaology" looks at the Japan Sea Region and Japan Sea as one circum-symbiotic system, and by learning about repeated circum-symbiotic systems in a long history, predicting various problems that may occur in the future, and making appropriate preparations to deal with the problems has the goal of evading an region-wide crisis, and thereby leaving a healthy area & world for future generations. In addition to adding a fresh dimension to the consideration of regional problems generally on a global scale, also aims to change to symbiotic values and streamline the development of civilization views to a circular civilization. Furthermore, such things as measuring the change of a nation-centered to a region-centered perspective and aiming to establish regional identity, questions regarding the way mankind should live in the 21st century will also enter into the field.
Toyama Prefecture recommends this "Japan Seaology," and has the hope that people will examine 21st century topics and propose an essential action plan that the world and Japan should carry out in the frame of Asian and the world as a whole.

Toyama Prefecture has the following characteristics, which can be considered like those of a reduced drawing of the Japan Sea region.
1. A water circular system connecting mountains, rivers, and the ocean over a 4,000m+ elevation change from a 1,000m deep-sea depth to the 3,000m level Northern Alps.
2. A symbiotic system inhabited by a variety of creatures thanks to its reception of the blessings of nature, including an abundant forest.
3. Facing the Japan Sea, the location where water unique to the Japan Sea (Deep Sea Water) is created by mixing with the Tsushima Warm Current

In that way, "Japan Seaology" has been proposed by Toyama Prefecture, an idealistic model area in the Japan Sea Region with abundant forest and water resources, with the intention of presenting a new symbiotic relationship with the earth.







Three Points of Japan Seaology
"Circulation"The Japan Sea Region exists in a cyclical world-wide natural environmental system
"Symbiosis"The symbiotic relationship of humans and nature in the Japan Sea Region, the symbiotic relationship of humans and humans in the area of shared usage of the Japan Sea
"Japan Sea"Re-examine the role and perception of the Japan Sea in the Japan Sea Region, and consider the future relationship with the Japan Sea
sFour mutually related research-oriented fieldst



4. Structure of "Japan Seaology"

"Japan Seaology" is based upon the same three points as is this prefecture: "circulation," "symbiosis," and "Japan Sea," and composed of the four mutual related research fields of: 1) Japan Sea Region Natural Environment, 2) Japan Sea Region Exchange, 3) Japan Sea Region Culture, and 4) Japan Sea Region Crisis and Symbiosis.




5. Proposal of the Japan Sea to the World: "Symbiosis and a Limitless Future"

In order to promote "Japan Seaology," it is necessary to cooperate with the people in the Japan Sea Region area, pooling knowledge and formalizing the field. In the "The Association of North East Asian Area Regional Governments*" held in Toyama City in July 2001, the Cultural Exchange Sub-committee gave consent to support "Japan Seaology." In particular, in the four fields of "Japan Seaology," it has been confirmed that the "Japan Sea Region Crisis & Symbiosis" is the topic which of first priority to integrate. While continuing with "Japan Seaology," an agreement was reached to make a "Proposal from the Japan Sea Region of the 21st Century New Paradigm" which supports the continual development of mutual interaction among civilizations & world peace, and symbiotic relationship with the environment.
From now on "Japan Seaology" will develop not only within Japan, but also in the entire Northeast Asian area, with the prospect of protecting and raising the Japan Sea as a "Sea of Peace & Development."
In Toyama Prefecture, it is anticipated that efforts will continue to further "Japan Seaology," and a that a proposal for several problems in the 21st Century from the Japan Sea Region to the world will be made.

*Note: Association of North East Asian Regional Governments
An international organization of local governments established in order to promote exchange and cooperation in the Northeast Asian area. Current members: 39 local governments in Japan, China, Mongolia, Republic of Korea, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and Russia. Local government meetings and business committee planning meetings are held for the general meeting, in addition to the efforts of five sub-committees.




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(May.01,2003.)