October 1, 2015
On October 1, a ceremony was held at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Tokyo to celebrate the start of the Maritime Safety and Security Policy Program (MSP) with an emphasis on Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. The MSP is a program conducted through cooperation from JICA, GRIPS, the Japan Coast Guard and the Nippon Foundation, and this year the program’s participants are eight mid-carrier professionals from said four countries.
Through examining and discussing international and domestic law, the MSP aims to develop human resources with an advanced capacity to formulate and propose maritime safety and security policies. Program participants are scheduled to spend one year completing a master’s program in collaboration with GRIPS and the Japan Coast Guard (Japan Coast Guard Academy). During the MSP period, lectures and other events related to maritime safety and security are planned with cooperation from the Nippon Foundation.
Encompassing some of the most congested sea lanes in the world, including the Strait of Malacca, Singapore Strait and the South China Sea, the ASEAN region is vital for the maritime transportation of goods such as energy resources, food and products. The ASEAN region is undergoing a remarkable rate of economic growth, and smooth maritime transportation there is extremely important not only for the aforementioned four countries and ASEAN in general, but also for the global economy. To ensure the sea lanes remain stable for maritime transportation, coastal countries must address a number of safety and environmental issues, including pirating, smuggling, and maritime disasters.
With this background, the MSP provides an advanced level of education that bridges the practice and theory of maritime safety given the need to form an international common understanding based on the rule of law to maintain and develop international order in the oceans. It is expected that the participants will contribute to regional maritime safety and security in the region as well as the maintenance and development of international order in the ASEAN region after completing the MSP.