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IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC)

Advancing knowledge and cooperation for a healthy ocean and prosperous society

WESTPAC Chair received Japan Prime Minister’s Award

On 29 August 2023, Chairperson of the Sub-Commission-Dr Kentaro Ando was conferred with the Prime Minister’s Award of Japan in recognition of his significant achievements in and contributions to international cooperation and coordination in marine science.

He is amiably called “Ken” by his colleagues and friends working together with him. Enthusiastically engaged in marine science development and cooperation and currently serving as Chairperson of the Sub-Commission, Ken has been making remarkable contributions to the Sub-Commission, as reflected by a leading role he takes in initiating and developing the 2nd Cooperative Study of the Kuroshio and its Adjacent Regions (CSK-2). It has been more than half a century since the first study of the Kuroshio CSK (1965- 1979). The CSK-2 has been carried out as the Programme (UN-24) of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), with the aim of understanding changing conditions of Kuroshio, the strongest current in the Western Pacific, in global warming and developing knowledge and services to serve societal needs.
Specialized in physical oceanography, Ken has conducted various studies on climate change in the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans, and made outstanding contribution to the development of international ocean observation networks including TAO/TRITON, RAMA and TPOS. Data obtained from those large-scale observation networks greatly improved the forecasts of the two major modes of interannual climate variability in the tropics- El Niño and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) phenomena, which significantly affect on regional and global climate conditions.
Ken also holds a Director position at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) to promote international research in the Western Pacific.