In 2000, the Okinawa Prefecture Deep Seawater Research Center (ODRC) was completed and has continued operating for the past 15 years. Boasting the largest water intake in all of Japan, the ODRC has used the natural deep seawater resource to foster technology and industry development in such areas as cosmetics, water, food, and tourism. The ODRC’s work has led to the creation of many new opportunities including new jobs and economic benefits, becoming a central part of the local community. In addition, the research of in cold-use agriculture and energy as well, the expansion of these new areas is expected to lead to new industries as well.
Combining the success of these current industries and looking ahead to the future, the “Kumejima Model” has been created to advance the use of deep seawater in order to create new jobs, increase self-sufficiency in food and energy, and reduce the carbon footprint in a community model that is both economically and practically viable for islands and communities in Japan and abroad.
This “Kumejima Model” is not only applicable to small islands, but can be the small scale testing-bed for sustainable community districts on the mainland of Okinawa as well, and eventually grown out to many areas in Japan, which is of course surrounded by vast and resource rich oceans. Since advanced use of deep seawater is applicable to “sustainable food, water, and energy,” through technical cooperation, not just Japan, but many tropical and subtropical regions around the world stand to benefit from improved green infrastructure, contributing to the increasing establishment of Japan as a technologically-oriented nation.
With these matters in mind, from now we form the Global Ocean reSource and Energy Association (GOSEA) for the purpose of advocating the comprehensive development of OTEC and deep seawater use via the “Kumejima Model.”
July 21, 2014
Kumejima Town Mayor