The world-wide shortage of seafarers has forced merchant shipping countries, including Japan, to actively recruit more seafarers. However, recent increase in marine accidents attributable to human factors has highlighted the importance of securing and training not only more but also better qualified seafarers. This has become an urgent issue for such countries.
Against this backdrop, the “Experts Meeting on Improving Quality of Seafarers in Asia” was convened in Tokyo in November 2007. One outcome was that the participating countries came to a common realization that nurturing qualified seafarers would require coordination among industry, government and academia of Asian countries, a region which is forecast to continue to be a major supplier of seafarers.
In addition, during the November 2008 ‘ASEAN-Japan Transport Ministers Meeting’, Japan proposed an ‘ASEAN-Japan Seafarer Training Cooperative Program’. The proposal—which was approved—was a new framework for international coordination relating to the training of seafarers.
As a specific project of the program, we started, in Fiscal Year 2009, the ‘International Cooperative Training Project for Asian Seafarers’ in earnest by joint efforts of the public and private sectors. This project is based on the full use of a Philippine training ship.

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Maritime Education and Training