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A Significant First Step in Collaboration for Both Academies

(Photo by USCGA, provided by JCGA)

A Historic Moment: The Blossoming of Japan-US Coast Guard Academic Collaboration

By Daisuke Komatsu

On April 21st this year, under a crystal-clear sky in New London, Connecticut, a historic moment unfolded at the United States Coast Guard Academy. The Japan Coast Guard Academy and the US Coast Guard Academy, striving to further enhance their educational programs, signed a landmark agreement on academic cooperation - a first for both institutions with an overseas academy.

The Japan-US Coast Guards have led coast guards worldwide and, based on the memoranda of cooperation signed in 2010 and the MOC’s ANNEX in 2022, have strengthened their trust by collaborating in various areas, including high-level meetings, joint exercises, and capacity building support for the Philippine Coast Guard.

The signing of this document of cooperation between the two educational and training institutions, as part of the Japan-US joint initiative "SAPPHIRE" based on the 2022 ANNEX, reaffirms the significance of cadets’ cooperation including international student conferences and cadet exchanges through training vessel visits. It aims to further enhance academy education by focusing on academic exchange, joint research, and the establishment of mutual exchange programs.

The Signing Took Place in a Solemn Atmosphere

(Photo by USCGA, provided by JCGA)

The signing ceremony took place in a serene atmosphere at the Hamilton Hall of the US Coast Guard Academy, attended by Rear Admiral William G. Kelly, Superintendent of the US Coast Guard Academy, and Rear Admiral Upper half Mitsuru Eguchi, Superintendent of the Japan Coast Guard Academy. Rear Admiral Kelly emphasized the significance of the agreement, which further strengthens the historic relationship between the two academies, and expressed his commitment to developing the long-standing friendship with the Japan Coast Guard Academy and enhancing their educational training.

Rear Admiral Upper half Eguchi touched on the history of exchanges between the two academies and expressed his conviction that academic exchanges will strengthen their relationship even further through student interactions. Additionally, he proposed that the Japan-US educational institutions should become two range lights, cooperating to advance maritime law enforcement education and training in the Indo- Pacific region.

Group Photo of the Representatives from Both Academies

(Photo by USCGA, provided by JCGA)

The Japan Coast Guard Academy was established over 70 years ago, and the US Coast Guard Academy nearly 150 years. This was the first time for each academy to sign an agreement on cooperation with an overseas academy. This historic document exchange highlights the need for collaboration between educational and training institutions, which are the foundation for human resource development, in addition to cooperation at Headquarter and operational levels amidst challenging maritime security environments. Furthermore, maritime security research spans a wide range of areas, including maritime security, international law, search and rescue techniques, and environmental conservation. The academic exchange between faculty members is expected to lead to more advanced research in coast guard operations, which is still in development.

The signing of this cooperation document contributes to building a solid foundation for nurturing the next generation of leaders, as both countries' maritime security agencies work together to improve maritime security. Through the collaboration of both academies, research and education in the maritime security field will progress, and international cooperation between the two agencies will deepen, leading to enhanced maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. The author hopes that the strengthened cooperation between Japan and the US maritime security agencies will pave the way to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific.

A Regimental Review by USCGA Cadets for the Superintendent of JCGA Was Also Held in Conjunction with the Signing Ceremony

(Photo by USCGA, provided by JCGA)

May 2023

Feature Article

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