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JHOD, as a responsible organization of Japan for the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), has actively participated in international meetings to contribute to establishing international standards in hydrographic field and has developed global partnership through exchanging hydrographic data and information with many countries.
JHOD has also participated in various oceanographic research projects promoted by international organizations such as UNESCO/Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and International Council for Science (ICSU) to contribute international research and activities on climate change and marine environmental protection.
JHOD has furthermore contributed to improving hydrographic services in other countries by transferring hydrographic knowledge and skills through providing a training course for or dispatching experts of JHOD to other counties following the request by those counties using international assistance programs.
International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) was established in 1970 under the “Convention on the International Hydrographic Organization”, as an international organization which has a consultative and purely technical nature (85 member states as of September 2016). The goal of the IHO is to contribute to making navigation easier and safer throughout the world by improving nautical charts and documents. The International Hydrographic Bureau (IHB), the headquarters of the IHO is placed in the Principality of Monaco.
JHOD has assisted IHO to establish international standards on hydrography and to improve capacity by positively participating in the activities of the IHO as a member of the IHO committee and working groups.
JHOD has also sent a staff member to IHB since 2008 to support its activities and to strengthen the relationship with IHB.
IHO has encouraged to establish a regional hydrographic commission (RHC) in each region in the world for facilitating regional hydrographic activities and cooperation.
East Asia Hydrographic Commission (EAHC) is one of the RHCs and consists of 10 countries, China, DPR of Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Rep. of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Brunei.
Japan has provided its effort to development of and coordination among the hydrographic activities of the member states in the East Asia region. For instance, JHOD has played as the permanent secretariat for EAHC since its establishment, and has taken on a role of the coordinator for the region K that coordinate publishing of the INT Charts in Northwestern Pacific Ocean to effectively cover the world ocean by a single set of the paper charts at medium and large scale.
Emergency information against safety of navigation such as a firing exercise at sea has been promulgated on mainly radio by the coastal states as Navigational Warnings.
The World-Wide Navigational Warning Service that has been established through the joint efforts of the IHO and International Maritime Organization (IMO), is a coordinated global service for promulgation of navigational warnings and, consists of 21 Navigational Warning Areas (NAVAREAs).
Japan has been appointed as a coordinator for NAVAREA XI to grasp navigational warnings and provide an advice to the coastal states in the region when necessary.
JHOD has participated in ocean research projects promoted by international organizations such as UNSCO/International Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and International Council for Science (ICSU) and has contributed to clarification of mechanism on climate change and marine environment fluctuation.
A tide station at the Showa station in the Antarctica maintained by JHOD has been consisted of a part of network of the Global Sea Level Observing System (GLOSS). It has been utilized for sea level research as well as for monitoring of marine disaster like Tsunami.
Japan Oceanographic Data Center (JODC) of JHOD is a representative institute of Japan as National Oceanographic Data Center in the International Data and Information Exchange (IODE) system promoted by UNESCO/IOC. JODC has assisted marine research and development activities through comprehensively collecting and managing oceanographic data obtained by institutes in Japan and providing the data to various users and also exchanging the data with the data centers in the world.
JHOD has assisted improvement of hydrographic services in other countries through dispatching experts in cooperation with Japan International Cooperation Agency etc. following the requests by those counties.
The Strait of Maraca-Singapore (SoMS) is one of important sea lanes for the world and also for Japan to support the economic activities. Following the request by the coastal states of SoMS, JHOD as the competent agency in Japan on hydrography, has repeatedly provided technical assistance by dispatching experts to the joint hydrographic survey project of SoMS promoted by JICA etc. since 1969, and then as the results, the paper charts of SoMS were published in 1982 and ENCs in 2005.
The following projects are some of the international assistance projects which JHOD was involved.
JHOD has conducted 6-months group training course for hydrographic surveyors in developing countries every year since 1971 in cooperation with JICA. This training course titled "JICA Group Training Course on Hydrography for Charting and Disaster Management (Internationally Accredited Category B)" has maintained an internationally recognized certificate for hydrographic surveyor since 1988.
More than 400 technicians from about 40 counties completed the training course so far and they have been actively involved in the hydrographic activities in their countries.
IHO has organized a 15weeks training course titled "Japan Capacity Building Project (Internationally Accredited Category B)" to train cartographers of the member states at United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) every year since 2009 in financially supported by the Nippon Foundation.
In 2014, it had a change of the project operation and the project title to "IHO-NF CHART Project". JHOD has participated in management of the project since its establishment, and 44 cartographers from about 30 counties finished the training until 2015.
IHO and UNESCO/IOC has jointly worked to provide the most authoritative publicly-available bathymetry of the world’s oceans, General Bathymetric Chart of Oceans (GEBCO). Since the first edition of GEBCO was published in 1903, it has been improved and revised by the cooperation of experts from the world including the JHOD experts.
Since 2004, GEBCO project has conducted a 1-year training course (Internationally Accredited Category A) at the University of New Hampshire in USA every year with support by Nippon Foundation for capacity building to enhance GEBCO project. 72 trainees from about 40 counties finished the training until September 2016.
The GEBCO Sub-Committee on Undersea Feature Names has maintained undersea feature names and makes available them in the world through the IHO-IOC GEBCO Gazetteer of Undersea Feature Names. The JHOD staff has participated in the Sub-Committee as the committee member and many undersea future names connected to Japan have been adopted.