To clarify the role of the ocean in global environment changes, such as global warming, it is necessary to clarify the cycle process of carbon in the ocean and the structure and changes of the atmosphere, seawater, and sea ice. These phenomena are particularly remarkable in the northwest Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the polar ocean, where severe oceanic conditions, such as stormy seas and low temperatures, occur.
 The Independent Administrative Institution, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology established the Mutsu Office, at Sekinehama, Mutsu city, Aomori Pref., in October 1995, as the home port of the oceanographic research vessel “Mirai,” one of the largest vessels of its kind in the world, which allows safe and highly accurate observation, even under such severe oceanic conditions. The office supports operation and management of the vessel, and research activities including analysis of samples and data obtained during its navigation, thus contributing to producing many achievements.
  Based on these achievements, and in response to expectation toward clarifying global environmental issues, JAMSTEC has furbished the research organization to clarify the carbon (material) cycle in the ocean and global environment changes in the past, and established the Mutsu Institute for Oceanography, in October 2000, to be engaged in research activities by utilizing the “Mirai” and other various facilities and equipment for oceanographic research, at a world-leading level.
  The Mutsu Institute for Oceanography will develop significant research activities as a research base for the North Sea, to lead the world under liaison with research organizations at home and abroad.