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Dr. Bordogna's Remarks


Dr. Joseph Bordogna
Deputy Director
Chief Operating Officer
Chikyu Launching Ceremony
Kobe, Japan

January 18, 2002

Her Imperial Highness Princess Sayako, ladies and gentlemen.

It is my honor and distinct pleasure to attend today's ceremonies. This event officially marks the beginning of a significant contribution by Japan to our ability to study the Earth, the Oceans, and the Biosphere. As an engineer, I have a special appreciation for the technical challenges that have been met in the design and construction so far completed. I realize, of course, that there are many rewarding challenges still to be faced in completing and outfitting the ship.

As a government science and engineering officer, I am equally impressed by the success of our colleagues at the Ministry of Education, Sport, Culture, Science and Technology (MEXT) in the responsible process of securing governmental approval and resources for such a special project. And, to our friends at the Japan Marine Science and Technology Center (JAMSTEC), who will manage the operation of the vessel, I wish you much success in your continuing planning and efforts to provide forefront scientific, technical and drilling capabilities for the vessel.

As a former naval officer, I offer my fond wishes to those who will sail in this ship and experience the beauty and thrills of the sea as they pursue discovery in the deep.

The name Chikyu (Earth) is very appropriate for the new vessel. For many years to come, it will be a cornerstone for global scientific ocean drilling as part of the new Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). The IODP will address many of the most fundamental and societally important problems in Earth and Ocean Science, ranging from the mechanisms of earthquake generation and occurrence, to the distribution and composition of the Earth's deep biosphere.

The Chikyu will provide a new capability in ocean drilling that allows deep drilling of the earth's crust and drilling in areas where special precautions and controls are required. We have not had such a capability previously - our National Science Foundation looks forward to the results of your first successful drilling.

MEXT and NSF have worked together in sharing leadership for the new IODP. The program, however, is envisioned as a true international partnership of scientists and funding agencies from many countries. Under the leadership of Drs. Jim Kinoshita (JAMSTEC) and Ted Moore (University of Michigan) the international scientific community has begun the detailed science planning for the IODP. Plans for the Program include a second drill ship to be provided by the NSF, and short-term use of additional drilling platforms to be provided by our European partners.

In the tradition of scientific ocean drilling, IODP's success will require international coordination, and commitment of intellectual and financial resources. MEXT and NSF both look forward to the formal endorsement and commitment to participate from many of the international organizations represented here today. In particular, we welcome the recent announcement of support for the IODP from our colleagues at the Natural Environment Research Council in the United Kingdom.

Although this launching marks a new beginning in ocean drilling, it also highlights a long and productive collaboration between the National Science Foundation and the universities and Government of Japan. The Ocean Research Institute at the University of Tokyo is one of our oldest partners in ocean drilling. It joined the Deep Sea Drilling Project in 1974.

NSF's cooperation with Japan goes back to 1961 - when we signed NSF's first international agreement in bilateral science with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). At that time, we established an NSF office in Tokyo to facilitate its implementation. The NSF-JSPS Cooperative Research Program established under that agreement continues to this day.

In the intervening years, of course, U.S.-Japan bilateral science and engineering relations have expanded significantly so that NSF (and many other U.S. agencies) now enjoy mutually beneficial relations with a wide range of government organizations in Japan - and our scientists and engineers cooperate in virtually every field.

With the operation of the Chikyu, and the beginning of the IODP, I look forward to a significant expansion in our cooperation in the Earth and Ocean Sciences. I wish you smooth sailing and good drilling!!

Thank you.



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