French-Japanese Society of Oceanography

The French-Japanese Society of Oceanography is a 1901 model law association created in 1984 with a head office at the “Institut Océanographique” located at 195, rue Saint-Jacques in Paris (75005). It is twinned with the japanese learned society  created in Japan in 1960. This latter is situated at 3-9-25 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, 150-0013, Tokyo at the “Maison Franco-Japanese” created by Paul Claudel and the Viscount Shibuzawa Eichii in 1924. It is a foundation whose mission is the development of cultural exchanges between France and Japan. The object of the Franco-Japanese Society of Oceanography France as enshrined in its articles is to “contribute to improve relationship between the French and Japanese people concern by research, development and exploitation  in ocean areas  and ensure efficient cooperation with  the Franco-Japanese Society of Oceanography Japan. ” This mission has not changed since.

One of the main objectives of the two learned societies is the dissemination of scientific information between the two countries including through the organization of symposia, the most recent dealt with the following main topics:

colloque de Marseille en 2013
Symposium at Marseille in 2013

In 2008, the 13th symposium on ” Global Change : Mankind -Marine Environmental interactions .”

In 2010, during the Kobe International Exhibition , the 14th symposium on ” Towards Sustainable Use and Management of the Oceans ” .

In 2013, the 15th symposium on “Marine Productivity : Disturbance and Resilience of Socio – Ecosystems ” with a major focus on the effects and impacts of the recent tsunami and the Fukushima accident on the environment.

photo de groupe à Shiogama pour le colloque de 2015
Participants  at Shiogama for the 2015 symposium

In November 2015, the symposium organized in Shiogama and Tokyo focused on a still very broad theme: “The sea under human and natural impacts: challenge of oceanography to the future Earth”.

In November 2017, a symposium and an exchange forum on the theme: “Evolution of Marine Costal Ecosystems under the Pressure of Global changes” was organized at the University of Bordeaux in collaboration with the CNRS and the Nouvelle-Aquitania Region. A Japanese delegation of 33 scientists, managers and professionals took part in the discussions which enabled a new project to be defined by the two SFJOs and called “Between Nature and Culture”.

The symposium which was to be organized in 2020 in Tokyo and Hiroshima for the 60th anniversary of the SFJO has been postponed to October 2021 due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

The skill of the two societies also goes beyond links between researchers. Learned societies accompany and facilitate mutual aid initiatives between the two countries. This was the case for oyster farming in France. The history of this cooperation is recalled by Professor Y. Koike in the book published by Springer after the 2015 SFJO symposium:

“In 1960, the French oyster farming was severely affected by a disease that decimated gradually but quickly the whole production of Portuguese oysters. Oyster production could be gradually restored by importing Japanese oyster spat from the Sanriku region in northern Japan.

In March 11, 2011, a massive tsunami destroyed the oyster farms in the same area. Driven by two the SFJO societies  and ADA (Association pour le Développement de l’ Aquaculture) with the financial assistance of the Air Liquide Foundation and Rotary clubs and through solidarity between the French and Japanese communities of oyster industry, the supply of equipment was organized and allowed the Japanese oyster farmers to recover more quickly from this disaster. Since oyster production in this area, thanks to the skill of Japanese professionals and solidarity, has almost caught up with the level of production recorded before the tsunami. “