Techno Ocean 2016

img_2275_1Every other year, Kobe hosts Techno Ocean, a conference bringing together technologies from all aspects of marine use. This year, we participated by presenting during the technical sessions on the status of the “Kumejima Model.” This year’s conference took place October 6-8 at the Kobe Convention Center. As the ocean is large, so to are the themes covered in the conference. The technical sessions were split into the following categories:

  • Ocean and Space Technology Collaboration
  • Marine Mineral Resource Development
  • Costal and Ocean Space Utilization
  • Sensor and Observing Instruments
  • Surface and Deep Seawater Utilization
  • Fisheries Engineering and Resource Utilization
  • Ocean Energy Development
  • Ocean Observing Platforms
  • Marine Environmental Monitoring and Impact Assessment
  • Oceanography and Education
  • Numerical Modeling and Simulation
  • Offshore Structure and Naval Architecture

In addition to this wide variety of talks, Techno Ocean also held an expo with companies and organization showing the latest programs and technologies to domestic and international markets. JAMSTEC an JOMEG had particularly large pavilions to demonstrate the variety of their ongoing activities.

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10月21日(金)~23日(日)に第40回 沖縄の産業まつり特別展が行われます。
沖縄県那覇市の奥武山公園 沖縄県立武道館(アリーナ棟)にて『海洋産業特別展』で「海洋エネルギー関連」の一つとしてブース出展いたしますので、お時間のある方は会場まで是非お越しください。

10月28日(金) 14:00~17:30 浦添市産業振興センター「結の街」にて、世界のウチナーンチュ大会連携イベントとして『国際環境エネルギーシンポジウム』が開催されます。



October Event Announcements

On October 21 to 23 (Friday to Sunday), there will be special exhibits at this year’s Okinawa Industry Festival (Sangyo Matsuri) featuring a “Marine Industry Special Exhibit” at the Okinawa Budokan (Arena) near Onoyama Park. For details see the website linked above.

On October 28 (Friday) from 2pm to 5:30 as part of the Uchinanchu Reunion Event there will be an International Environmental Energy Symposium at the Urasoe Industrial Promotion Center. For more information click the picture below for a pdf. Power company executives, businesses, and officials from Hawaii and Okinawa will be attending.

Finally, we look forward to welcoming participants from the above Symposium to an optional tour to Kume Island to see the Okinawa OTEC facility and related deep seawater industries.

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午後には、開催挨拶とオープニングスピーチの後、東京工業大学 先進エネルギー国際研究センター長 柏木 孝夫氏、米国エネルギー省日本事務所代表 ロス・マツキンブリジャー氏、内閣官房総合海洋政策本部事務局参事官 橋本 道雄氏の基調講演から始まり、沖縄とハワイで取り組みが進む海洋温度差発電と海洋深層水利用を主なテーマとした最新動向報告が行われました。


2日目の17日(土)午前中には、海外プロジェクトの近況や1MW OTECと海洋深層水複合利用に向けた開発の最新動向が発表されました。

img_0344_1午後には、「1MW OTECプロジェクト」「環境影響及びライフサイクルアセスメント」「海洋深層水の産業利用」「教育及び国際貢献」の4つのグループに分かれ、各グループにて白熱したディスカッションが行われました。



Despite the approach of typhoon 1616, the 7th Ocean Energy Symposium and Workshop was successfully held on September 16 and 17, 2016 with more than 100 attendees participating this year.

Friday morning, we were happy to welcome visitors from the US, Japan, and South Korea as part of an optional tour to the ODRC and OTEC Okinawa facility. In addition to the OTEC facility, visitors were able to tour Point Pyuru’s new cosmetics shop and museum, Kumejima’s Sea Grape Farm, and GO Farm’s Oyster research facility.

In the afternoon, several related parties greeted attendees including a kind written message from Ambassador Caroline Kennedy. Following the opening remarks, keynotes were provided by Takao Kashiwagi of AES, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Ross Matzkin-Bridger of the US DOE, and Michio Hashimoto from the headquarters for Ocean Policy. Finally, the first day was wrapped up with a look at Renewable Energy Strategies in Japan and the US with an introduction to OTEC as well.

Visitors and locals alike celebrated Okinawan and Hawaiian culture at the 2016 Kumejima Hawaiian festival, which also included a special ceremony commemorating the 5th anniversary of the Kumejima Town, Hawaii County Sister City Agreement.

img_0438The second day of the workshop began with welcome remarks from Hawai’i Governor David Ige, and an overview of the past 7 years of workshops by Yasuyuki Ikegami of the Institute of Ocean Energy at Saga University. Participants were able to delve deeper into the current status of OTEC and renewable energy projects around the world, followed by the latest developments towards 1MW OTEC and deep seawater industries.

img_0467The afternoon of the second day was devoted to subgroup discussions including OTEC Technology, Environmental Impact and Life Cycle Assessments, Deep Seawater Industries, and Education and International Cooperation. These subgroups gave stakeholders from both the US and Japan the opportunity to come together and discuss a variety of issues and opportunities. The discussions were brought back to the wider theme of the workshop through a panel discussion moderated by Masayuki Takahashi of DOWAS.

We look forward to the 8th Ocean Energy Symposium and Workshop in Kona next year.

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PowerPoint Presentation


7th Okinawa Hawai’i Ocean Energy Symposium and Workshop

IMG_1759_1The 7th Okinawa Hawai’i Ocean Energy Symposium and Workshop will take place on Kumejima at the Gushikawa Rural Development Center on September 16 and 17, 2016. This yearly meeting between government, academics, and businesses takes place alternatively in Kona and Kumejima under the Okinawa Hawai’i Clean Energy Cooperation Agreement first signed in 2010 and renewed in 2015 between the US DOE, Japan METI, State of Hawai’i and Okinawa Prefecture.

This year’s event is shaping up to be a an informative and collaborative discussion between parties on the possibilities of cooperation on renewable energies. The agenda includes keynotes, presentations, group discussions, and a panel discussion.

More information, including on the related 5th Sister City Anniversary Reception and 2016 Kumejima Hawai’ian Festival which are occurring on the evening of the 15th and 16th, can be found at

Those wishing to attend should make a reservation through the online form.

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2016 Deep Seawater Festival

IMG_9024Kumejima’s deep seawater pipelines bring water from a depth of 612 meters, so every year Kumejima celebrates with the Deep Seawater Festival on or about June 12. This year’s festival was rescheduled to June 18 after significant thunderstorms made the original day untenable.

This year, the festival took place outside the new “Ryukyu Comsme House – Kumejima” building beside the Point Pyuru Cosmetics Factory. The new 4-story building houses store, museum, and social spaces.

This year’s event featured local music and performances, soba, the a long-run Mozuku slide, the new PICO OTEC demonstration, and a Oyster Calligraphy Competition.

IMG_9060The GO FARM (General Oyster Farm) company hosted a local calligraphy teacher with a competition for participants to write the Japanese word for “oyster” in kanji or hiragana symbols using ink made with deep seawater (provided by a local bottling company). Five participants in the morning and afternoon were selected by various officials for prizes.

This year we were also happy to participate with demonstrations of the new PICO OTEC demonstrator. This small-scale OTEC apparatus allowed visitors to see a working fluid boil in a glass heat exchanger and then expand through a turbine.


Visitors were also treated to discounted cosmetics from the grand opening of the Ryukyu Cosme House Kumejima Store, free massages, and free Tuna Rice Bowls. Though the day turned out to be very warm, this year’s event was a success. We look forward to even more fun next year.

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Sea Water Dream フェスティバル


今年の会場は、海洋深層水を利用する化粧品製造メーカーであるポイントピュール社の新社屋にて行われました。4階建ての新社屋には、ポイントピュール社の直営店舗である琉球コスメハウス 久米島店を始め、展示スペース、社交スペースが設けられています。




また、琉球コスメハウス 久米島店の新装開店に伴い、化粧品の割引や無料マッサージ、マグロ丼が無料で振舞われる等、参加者にはうれしい特典が盛り沢山でした。


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Cabinet Ministers Ishiba and Shimajiri visit Kumejima

IMG_8195On May 1, 2016 Minister of State for the National Strategic Special Zones Shigeru Ishiba and Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs Aiko Shimajiri visited the Okinawa Deep Seawater Research Center and related deep seawater industries on Kumejima.

While Minister Shimajiri has visited Kumejima several times prior to her elevation to Cabinet level, it is the first time both ministers have visited in their current roles. After learning about the Kumejima Model at the ODRC, the ministers visited the Okinawa Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) Facility, as well as local industries including Point Pyuru Cosmetics, Kumejima Sea Grape Aquaculture, GO Farm Oyster Research, and the Kumejima Cooperative Kuruma Prawn Farm.  IMG_8273The Minister’s tour also marked an important day for us at OTEC Okinawa, being the 5000th visitor since our opening. These industries have taken advantage of existing deep seawater resources to create economically significant industries for Kumejima, however, they all are constrained by the limited capacity of the existing pipeline.

The Kumejima Model is an integrated system of deep seawater users that can lead to a community model for self-sufficient communities. In the future, Kumejima hopes to test the incorporation of Megawatt scale OTEC for power supply with other uses such as desalination for water so that the deep seawater resource is used efficiently. Testing the incorporation of these various industries and technologies at Kumejima’s small scale will allow for less expensive and more efficient use in other locations in Okinawa, Japan, and the world at large in the future.


After touring the facilities, both ministers also took part in a seminar hosted at the Gushikawa Community Center. The ministers spoke about their observances during the day, and Minister Ishiba discussed the difficulties in rural Japan such as depopulation. Both ministers stated the would “fully support Kumejima’s efforts.”

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IMG_7796On April 4th, Kumejima celebrated the opening of it’s new Learning Center, dubbed the “Jinbun Hall.” The center is a renewal of an unused family clinic building, designed to house students attending Kumejima High School from outside the prefecture. With the island population declining by an average of 91 people per year over the last 23 years (2119 total), the island’s board of education was forced to look at expanding student enrollment, or face having to close the school. With limited resources, the school for the first time, invited students from outside the prefecture to attend. Students stayed with host families during the year.

IMG_7699The success of the program and growing number of students from outside of Kumejima required an expanded space to house them. The new Learning Center is a four-story building that can house up to 24 students on two floors in 4-person rooms. The  first floor includes food-preparation facilities and the learning center, as space that will be available for educational related events and classes.

The ribbon cutting and facility name revealing ceremony was attended by local, prefecture, and national leaders.






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IMG_7695Kumejima has a new bus running around the island. The town is situated around the wetland preserve and mountains in the middle of the island. The Kumejima bus service provides routes around the island and to the airport. Starting in April, the new Kumejima Bus started operations. The sky blue bus is quite different than the previous yellow, and easily show’s off its most distinctive aspect, the new logo drawn by famous Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli. Miyazaki donated the mark to Kumejima in response to their support of children from Fukushima. The mark is now also the logo for GOSEA.




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Kumejima Ocean Energy Video

The Okinawa OTEC Demonstration Facility has been featured in the news, magazines, and TV, yet many of those sources can be hard to find after a little while. Now we’re pleased to share a short video with you that highlights not only Kumejima, but the Okinawa Deep Seawater Research Center (ODRC), and the OTEC facility. The video includes images and video from the construction of the ODRC in 2000 as well as photos of the construction of OTEC Okinawa! We hope you enjoy.




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