From “Maritime” to “Oceans”New Support (New ¥10 Billion Fund) for World Maritime University

A ceremony was held on May 19, 2015, to mark the completion of construction of a new building at World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmo, Sweden. In his remarks at the ceremony, Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa emphasized the importance of shifting from a “maritime” orientation to a “marine and ocean-related” orientation, noting “Cross-sector collaboration has been insufficient for reaching solutions to important ocean-related problems, which are advancing on a global scale. I hope that the World Maritime University, as a postgraduate school for maritime specialists, will continue to develop as an educational and research institution that goes beyond the field of maritime affairs and takes a multidisciplinary approach to comprehensively address ocean-related problems. To achieve this, Mr. Sasakawa announced the Nippon Foundation’s intention to support WMU’s development as a research institution conducting scientific research that integrates a diverse range of ocean-related fields, through two programs:

1. The establishment of a new endowment fund in the amount of ¥10 billion for WMU to become an educational institution that generates human resources who have the capacity to address ocean issues with a multidisciplinary approach, and as a multidisciplinary scientific research institution in ocean-related fields, and

2. Continuous support in the amount of ¥300 million annually over the next 10 years to enhance the existing WMU Sasakawa Fellowships and NF Chairs programs.

Specific plans going forward will be coordinated and implemented by the parties involved.
The new building is a full renovation of a historic structure built in the early 1900s as the Malmo port office, and was donated by the city to WMU. The facilities inside the building are named after the people and organizations including the government of Sweden who have supported WMU over the years, and the main auditorium where the completion ceremony was held has been named the “Sasakawa Auditorium.” Approximately 400 people, including Koji Sekimizu, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization, attended the event.


(About the World Maritime University and WMU Sasakawa Fellowships and NF Chairs)
The World Maritime University (WMU) was established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 1983 as a postgraduate university to educate and train leaders in fields related to global maritime affairs. WMU offers specialized programs for government officials involved in maritime affairs from various countries, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, in areas including maritime law and policies, maritime safety and environmental management, and maritime education and training, and promotes international cooperation and cross-border networking among people involved in maritime affairs.

The Nippon Foundation has been working with WMU in the area of human resource capacity-building for close to 30 years. The WMU Sasakawa Fellowships program was established in 1987 and has produced roughly 550 fellows from more than 60 countries. In fiscal 2014, the Nippon Foundation provided approximately ¥200 million to the program (for 22 fellows), and approximately ¥70 million for four endowed NF Chairs in fields including maritime administration.


Maritime Special Project Team, Social Innovation Program Division
The Nippon Foundation