Iceland´s Minister of Education, Science and Culture, Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, this week met with Masahiko Shibayama, Japan´s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, in Tokyo.
The Ministers discussed the upcoming 3rd Arctic Science Ministerial meeting, that will be co-hosted by Iceland and Japan, in Tokyo, in the fall of 2020.
The Ministers also expressed their wish for an even stronger collaboration between Iceland and Japan in the fields of science and research and decided to begin work on a formal framework to this effect.
During the visit, Minister Alfreðsdóttir also met with Yoko Kamikawa, former Justice Minister of Japan and the Secretary General of the Parliamentary League of Arctic Frontier Study, as well as Shinako Tsuchiya, the Chairman of the Icelandic Parliamentary Friendship League at the Japanese Diet. The Minister also visited the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and its Ocean Policy Research Institute.
On 7 May 2019, Iceland assumed the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council and will lead it for the next two years. Iceland´s Chairmanship program is titled “Together Towards a Sustainable Arctic” and will highlight three priority areas: The Arctic Marine Environment, Climate and Green Energy Solutions, as well as People and Communities of the Arctic. The Chairmanship will also continue strengthening the internal work of the Arctic Council and promoting its work internationally while supporting its ongoing activities in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development.
During its chairmanship, Iceland will lead a project on the Blue Bioeconomy in the Arctic, exploring opportunities to increase the value of marine products. Plastic pollution in the Arctic marine environment will also feature high on the agenda. The Chairmanship further involves leading the Arctic Coast Guard Forum, which will be chaired by the Icelandic Coast Guard for the next two years.