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FROM THE EDITOR

July 29, 2022

By YOSHIKUNI SHIRAI / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

As is well known, the ocean occupies 70% of the Earth’s surface, and it absorbs carbon dioxide from the air, lowering its concentration in the atmosphere.

According to data from the Ministry of the Environment, the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the ocean reached 2.9 billion tons in 2020, the most in a single year since 1990. In the 250 years since the Industrial Revolution, emissions of carbon dioxide generated by human activities have increased significantly due to the consumption of fossil fuels and deforestation.

But as the concentration of dissolved carbon dioxide increases the ocean gradually changes, becoming more acidic, and this has significant impacts on marine ecosystems.

Looking at the lives of Japanese people, we have always been heavily dependent on the sea, especially when it comes to food. Japan’s land area is just 380,000 square kilometers but because it is an archipelago its coastline is long, and its exclusive economic zone is the sixth-largest in the world, behind only the United States, Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand and Canada.

The ocean is indispensable for our survival. In this special issue, we introduce sustainable efforts focused on preserving them.

Return to Sustainable Japan Magazine Vol. 14 article list page

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