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IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC)

Advancing knowledge and cooperation for a healthy ocean and prosperous society

Dr Yutaka Michida awarded Japan Prime Minister’s Prize

On 16 July 2015, Dr Yutaka Michida, a winner for the “WESTPAC Outstanding Scientists”, was given the Prize at the Japan’s Prime Minister’s Office in recognition of his outstanding achievements in and contribution to international marine science cooperation.

Dr Michida currently serves as a professor in the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, the University of Tokyo. Over his nearly 30 years career development, he has been dedicated to marine science development and cooperation at national, regional and international level, mainly through his active engagement in the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (UNESCO/IOC).

He contributed significantly to the development of international tsunami early warning and mitigation systems during his tenure as IOC Vice Chair (2011-2015). In particular, he led the Working Group on Tsunamis and other Hazards related to sea level warning and mitigation systems (WG – TOWS), leading to the establishment of intergovernmental coordination systems for the Indian Ocean, Caribbean, and Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea, in addition to the Pacific Ocean.

Dr Michida was recently elected as one of co-chairs for the IOC’s International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) programme at its 23rd Session in 2015. He is the first chair from Asian countries for IODE over last fifty years.

Based on his insights on the importance of ocean to the people in the region, Dr Michida has been enthusiastic to advance marine science cooperation among countries in the Western Pacific and its adjacent regions, as reflected by his key roles in various agendas of the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) in the region. He was awarded the “WESTPAC Outstanding Scientists” in 2014. (

Dr Yutaka Michida published a series of papers with an emphasis on oceanographic data and information management since 1980s. Since the adoption of Basic Ocean Acts of Japanese government in 2007, he contributed a lot in governmental discussions to the promotion of ocean data management at national level, resulting in the establishment of Marine Information Clearing House (MICH) and Marine Cadastre.