When establishing international regulations, it is important to ensure that they are most rational for the entire maritime industry from a scientific viewpoint based on reliable technologies.
Japan is one of the world’s leading countries in the fields of shipping and shipbuilding, and has advanced technological capabilities to solve both safety and environment issues.
Strong expectations are being placed on Japan by international society to use these capabilities and to contribute to the development of regulations for safety and environment. JSTRA marshals the collective wisdom of Japanese industry, government and academia, and utilizes the latest cutting-edge research, technology and knowledge to coordinate the development of Japanese proposals for international regulations which are the most appropriate for the maritime industries, and presents them for discussion at IMO.
JSTRA takes an earnest approach to achieving the realization of Japanese proposals and the reflection of Japanese opinions through active participation in various international conferences including meetings of the IMO committees and sub-committees where important deliberations for the shipping and shipbuilding industries are held.
External appearance of the IMO
Scene from an IMO conference
MEPC chairman (Hideaki Saito, Director of Shipbuilding and Ship Machinery Division at Maritime Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT))
Shipping standards seminar
(The State of Decarbonization in the Maritime Industries)
Main IMO seminar guests and lecturers, etc.
Courtesy visit to the IMO Secretary-General
JSTRA has established 10 key “pillars” based on issues that are considered to be particularly important in order to strategically address the safety and environmental regulations developed by IMO; and has established projects for each key pillar.
In April 2018, at MEPC72, a strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships, which included targets such as a 40% improvement in GHG emission efficiency in international shipping by 2030 and reducing total annual GHG emissions by 50% by 2050, was adopted. In light of this, and based on an adequate understanding of the impact on domestic maritime industries, JSTRA is engaged in research efforts to propose concrete measures to the IMO towards achieving these targets.
JSTRA is participating proactively in various initiatives and discussions relating to the revision of the MARPOL Convention, one of the key concepts of which is the introduction of EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index) regulations for ships, which came into effect in January 2013. These include reviewing the state of technological development and the required threshold level, discussions regarding issues such as the compatibility of energy-saving measures with safe maritime navigation and deliberations for the establishment of data collection system for fuel oil consumption of ships. In addition to participating in such discussions and coordinating with industry stakeholders, JSTRA is also engaged in research efforts to ensure that the knowledge and perspectives of the Japanese maritime industries are adequately represented in these discussions.
JSTRA is engaged in necessary technical research and studies required to appropriately address rules and regulations for the prevention of air pollution, including restrictions on emissions of NOx (nitrogen oxides), SOx (sulfur oxides), and black carbon from ships. JSTRA also maintains an accurate grasp of current trends in IMO deliberations, and contributes proactively to discussions in order to ensure that the knowledge and perspectives of the Japanese maritime industries are adequately represented in these discussion processes.
Discussions are taking place at IMO regarding the control and management of aquatic organisms, both in ballast water and attached to ship hulls, as a means of preventing the transfer of invasive aquatic species by shipping. JSTRA is engaged in research to ensure that the knowledge and perspectives of the Japanese maritime industries are adequately represented in such discussions.
Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS), for which extensive research is being conducted both in academic and economic aspects, is an issue aimed at improving the safety of ships and efficiency of shipping. Regarding this topic, the IMO commenced considerations of the scope of discussion on IMO regulations concerning MASS, based on concerns over the lack of clarity as to which regulations should be applied to MASS. JSTRA maintains a grasp of trends in MASS-related projects currently underway in other countries, and engages in research efforts to enable contribution to IMO discussions. We also organize necessary schemes and other measures required in order to achieve the realization of MASS in Japan.
Reassessment and modernization of GMDSS
Examinations are underway in IMO meetings about the reassessment and modernization of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). JSTRA has been participating in relevant discussions in IMO, as well as studies promoting GMDSS reassessment and modernization to ensure that the perspectives of Japanese industries are adequately represented in the review process, while also achieving coordination with industry stakeholders.
Related standards accompanying the implementation of an e-navigation Strategy
IMO is engaged in discussions for reviewing and revising various conventions and regulations in accordance with its e-navigation strategy for creating and implementing a next-generation navigation support system utilizing IT. JSTRA is participating actively in these discussions, and is engaged in research efforts relating to technical standards, etc., in coordination with related industries to ensure that the knowledge and perspectives of the Japanese maritime industries are adequately represented in these discussions.
JSTRA is contributing positively to discussions on safety requirements in the IGF Code (International Code of Safety for Ships Using Gases or Other Low-Flash Point Fuels) by accurately representing the thoughts and perspectives of Japanese maritime industries.
JSTRA conducts research into the intact and damage stability requirements being discussed in IMO, through consideration of the second-generation intact stability criteria and proposals for improving the damage stability requirements. This research is aimed at further improving the safety of ships with a view to preventing them from capsizing, as well as to developing efficient and reasonable requirements based on the actual practices of ship design and navigation in our country.
JSTRA is engaged in research initiatives to consider the data types and methods of collecting data necessary for developing rational standards for ships and develop “a strategy for data driven regulations” to promote the IMO’s considerations on the development of rational international standards utilizing available data.
JSTRA conducts a follow-up of discussions in IMO, particularly on the following issues for which JSTRA has carried out research, and on matters of significance for the shipping and shipbuilding industries in Japan.