Message from the President

Every year, the global environment and the environment surrounding forests, rivers and oceans are getting worse. The atmosphere is warming and the oceans are also warming at a faster rate.

The Ecosystem Research Institute was established as a general incorporated association on 13 May 2015, and we started our first project, a survey of the Kesen River, which has a watershed covering Rikuzentakata City and Sumita-cho, and Hirota Bay. In FY2022, the Kesen River and Hirota Bay Holistic and Fundamental Survey entered its eighth year. Continuous accumulation of survey data has been obtained, and reports have been prepared and published for seven years.

In addition, we have published a series of specialized publications on the ecosystems of forests, rivers and oceans in the book titled "Global Environment: Forests, Rivers and the Sea" in 2019 and 2020, and the third volume, "Marine Ecosystems after the East Japan Great Earthquake: Focusing on Rikuzentakata," was published in July 2022.

As you are aware, Japan has extremely little scientific data on land, rivers and oceans, especially on coastal areas. Meanwhile, coastal wetlands, seaweed beds and tidal flats are being lost, and development activities require environmental impact assessments.

In this context, we have conducted surveys of coastal areas, rivers, and surrounding terrestrial and forest ecosystems in Suruga Bay and the Fuji River system in Shizuoka Prefecture, Ishinomaki Bay, Mangoku-ura and the Kitakami River estuary, Momoura Bay on the Oshika Peninsula, and Ofunato Bay in Iwate Prefecture. From now on, in addition to re-conducting the surveys already conducted, we are conducting a new survey of the Shimanto River system in Kochi Prefecture.

In addition, we have been collaborating and exchanging views with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), the Ministry of the Environment (MOE), local governments in Iwate Prefecture, Ofunato City, Rikuzentakata City and Sumita Town, research institutes such as the National Institute for Environmental Studies and the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, and the Kajima Institute of International Peace (KIIP). Overseas organizations include the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) and Underwood & Associates in the United States, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) in Australia, the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania, and the Deltares Institute in the Netherlands. International organizations include FAO, UNESCO, and the United Nations.

In addition, I, as President, serve as the lead researcher for the "North Pacific Marine Ecosystem Study Group (abbreviated name)" (FY 2019-2021) of the Kajima Institute of International Peace (KIIP), and disseminates its final recommendations, published in July 2022, throughout Japan and around the world. In addition, I am also serving as the chairperson and lead advisor of the "Third Fisheries Industry Reform Committee" of the Japan Economic Research Institute (JERI), which is responsible for compiling recommendations for the reform of Japan's fisheries and fishery industry systems and policies, and compiling interim recommendations and disseminating them in Japan and around the world.

Concerns and interest in global warming are finally gaining attention, and there is a growing need to promote research and studies into the oceans through land and rivers.

I believe that our organization has much to contribute to that end. We look forward to your continued support.


October 2022
Dr Masayuki Komatsu
President, Ecosystem Research Institute

Profile of Dr Masayuki Komatsu, President of the ERI

Born in Hirota-cho, Rikuzentakata City, Iwate Prefecture in 1953.

President of the Ecosystem Research Institute, Research Fellow of the Kajima Institute of International Peace, and Visiting Professor of the Asian Growth Research Institute (AGI).

MBA from Yale University's Graduate School of Business Administration
PhD (Agriculture) from the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo
Joined the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF)
Assistant Director (in charge of Japan-US negotiations), Fisheries Agency
First Secretary (in charge of FAO), Japanese Embassy in Rome
Counsellor (in charge of international negotiations), Fisheries Agency
Director, Fisheries Research Agency (FRA)
Selected as the second Japanese person in the “100 Most Respected Japanese in the World” by the US Newsweek Magazine
  • Won the mothership-type salmon/trout fishery case in the Administrative Court of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Southern Bluefin Tuna International Law of the Sea case, and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea arbitration case.
  • Served as Chairman of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and Chairman of the FAO Fisheries Commission.
  • Served as the Acting Japanese Representative to the International Whaling Commission for 13 years from 1991, contributing greatly to the expansion and strengthening of the research whaling program in the Antarctic Ocean and the Northwest Pacific research whaling program.
  • he was selected as the second Japanese person in the "100 Most Respected Japanese in the World" by U.S. Newsweek magazine.
Served as a member of the Fisheries Reform Committee of the Japan Economic Research Council, and was a member of the Cabinet Office Regulatory Reform Council (Fisheries Reform) under the Yasuo Fukuda, Taro Aso and Naoto Kan cabinets.
Worked with Niigata Governor Hirohiko Izumida on prefectural fisheries reform.
Professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
Served as a project leader for fisheries reform at the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research
Has been conducting the Kesen River and Hirota Bay Holistic and Fundamental Survey
Served as a leader of the Japan Economic Research Institute (JERI) “Second Fisheries Industry Reform Committee”
Was commissioned by Rikuzentakata City to conduct the "Hirota Bay and Kesen River Holistic and Fundamental Survey
Served as a chair of the Kajima Institute of International Peace (KIIP) “Study Group on North Pacific Marine Ecosystem, Marine Order and Diplomatic Security Regime”
Serves as a chair and lead advisor of the Japan Economic Research Institute (JERI) "Third Fisheries Industry Reform Committee".
Expanding the scope of research to include the Shimanto River Basin and Ofunato Bay
Serves as a chair of the Kajime Institute for International Peace (KIIP) “Study on Food, Ecosystems, and Land Use" and has been working on NBS (Nature-based Solutions) for wetland and waterfront restoration

Certificate of appreciation presented by Ofunato City

“You have made a great contribution to the recovery and reconstruction of Ofunato City, which was damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Therefore, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the city's founding, we would like to express our deepest respect and gratitude for your heartwarming support.”

October 13, 2022
Mayor of Ofunato
Kimiaki Toda

He has published approximately 60 books on a wide range of topics, including fishery systems and policies, tuna fisheries, whaling policies, history and food culture of “Edo-mae” (Tokyo-style food), nature conservation, international court cases, the Tsukiji and Toyosu Markets, ecosystems of land, rivers and oceans, and a leadership theory. Some of his books have been translated into English, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean.