I moved to head the Center for Deep Earth Exploration (CDEX) of Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), when the deep-sea drilling vessel (D/V) Chikyu is successfully operating to achieve the goals of the NanTroSEIZE program. This is the first riser-equipped scientific trial of the Chikyu, and she is demonstrating her ability at this voyage. We are convinced that she will provide borehole data and core sample of the earth interior deeper than 2,111 meters below seafloor, which has not been touched directly by the scientific drilling until now.
Her activity in future will attract a lot of attention from broader international community. Better scientific understanding of mechanisms of rapid warming of our earth caused by increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide content due to fossil fuel combustion since the Industrial Revolution, and of cause of acidification of seawater, which may invite a serious crisis for marine life in the future, are seriously required. Likewise, understanding of mechanisms of hazardous giant trench-type earthquake and tsunami are crucial for mitigation of these natural hazards. In addition, subseafloor mineral resources and methane hydrate related research will create new dreams under fierce natural resources exploration competition. On the other hand, the insatiate desire of human mind for exploring unknown things, for example obtaining the mantle sample by penetrating through the entire ocean crust, is an indication of mankind being there.
Now we concentrate the wisdom from all over the world, and are going to propose a scientific vision for next ten years about the deep sea drilling science through the IODPís INVEST conference in Bremen. It will be a matter of great joy that the Chikyu will play an important role at the forefront of the program by achieving the objectives of the mission while implementing the scientific vision in the future. Complying with legacy of the predecessor, I will now lead a ship called the CDEX to direct it as a captain to there where it should be, by increasing transparency, and by establishing more responsive communication links. Your cooperation and understanding in the years to come are highly appreciated.