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JSPS Quarterly No. 25, Autumn 2008 (75 KB)

Japanese-German Symposium Held on "Marine Research"

Every year, the JSPS Bonn Office and the JSPS Club (German alumni association) join forces in putting on a Japanese-German Symposium, at which frontline investigators in the year's chosen field of research give presentations on the latest research results achieved in the two countries and engage each other in discussions, while promoting collaborative research through a deeper understanding of each other's work.

This year's symposium marked the thirteenth in the series to date. It was held on 16-17 May at the historical Barocksaal Hall in the Hanseatic city of Rostock. Well-fitted to this port city venue, the symposium's theme was "Marine Research." Despite Rostock's location up in the north of Germany, the event attracted more than 160 researchers, mostly with past joint research experience with Japanese colleagues.

As 70% of the globe is covered with oceans, they exert a large impact on people's lives both from the standpoint of resources and their impact on climate change, as was addressed in last year's symposium. This time, three research sub-themes that addressed the integral relationship between humans and the ocean were explored by researchers on the cutting edge of related fields. Three Japanese and four German researchers delivered these presentations.

First, a plenary speech was given by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Fennel, deputy director, Baltic Sea Research Institute Warnemünd, on ocean ecosystems using the Baltic Sea as an example. Then, Prof. Dr. Toshio Yamagata, Department of Earth and Planetary Science, the University of Tokyo, and Prof. Dr. Jelle Bijma, Marine Biosciences, Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, spoke on the sub-theme "oceans, climate and weather." Next, Prof. Dr. Ralph Schneider, Excellence Cluster "Future Ocean," University of Kiel, and Prof. Dr. Yasuwo Fukuyo, Asian Natural Environmental Science Center, the University of Tokyo, gave presentations on the sub-theme "life-supporting oceans." Finally, Prof. Dr. Masaaki Wakatsuchi, Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, and Prof. Dr. Detlef Czybulka, Faculty of Law, University of Rostock, addressed the sub-theme "oceans' contribution to man's future."

An active Q&A discussion evolved between the panelists, who approached the theme from a spectrum of fields—from physics and biology to law—and the floor comprising researchers in a wide variety of disciplines. Four members of the JSPS Club acted as moderators, introducing the lecturers and facilitating the Q&A discussions.

After the symposium ended, the JSPS Club held their annual General Meeting. It was announced that the number of dues-paying members had increased by ten percent from the time of last year's General Meeting.

JSPS Bonn Office