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The Japan-Russia Workshop "Toward Future Japan-Russia Cooperation in Arctic Observation and Research” was held on 28-30 October in Tokyo

The investigation on environmental changes in the Arctic region has global significance. These studies provide the scientific basis for the prediction of the future ecosystem in the region including the effects on plant, animals, and human beings. 

With an aim to facilitate the relevant research activities, a large scale workshop was conducted in Tokyo on 28-30 October, 2014. The workshop, titled “Japan-Russia Workshop: Toward Future Japan-Russia Cooperation in Arctic Observation and Research”, was co-held by the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute of Russia, the National Polar Research Institute (NIPR) of Japan, and the ISTC. The Japan Consortium for Arctic Environmental Research also contributed to the event. 14 Russian and 53 Japanese experts, including researchers and scientific secretariats, attended the Workshop. 

The following research areas were discussed during the workshop: 
1) Intensified warming and atmospheric processes;
2) Decrease of sea ice and Arctic Ocean;
3) Material cycle and green-house-gases (GHG); 
4) Glacier, permafrost and hydrology; 
5) Ecosystem and bio-diversity. 

The participants discussed 13 potential subjects from the above mentioned areas to seek research vectors in terms of concrete methods of collaboration. In addition, a question of training young scientists, which is a fundamental question for the long-lasting environmental problems noted above, was also touched upon. The workshop provided a multidisciplinary and international collaboration forum for the Arctic research. Influences of the environmental changes in the Arctic areas appear in diverse ways, which can be physico-chemical, biological, and even cultural. The potential idea of the polar navigation route also needs to be examined from various perspectives. Therefore, such a forum was very necessary. 

The workshop report is available on the website of the Japanese National Institute of Polar Research http://www.nipr.ac.jp/aerc/e/info/20141028.html

(reported by Dr. Takeshi Matsunaga, ISTC Project Manager (Japan), matsunaga@istc.int)

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