Japan's Nippon Foundation and Deepstar signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently which essentially will allow Japan to tap the expertise and resources of DeepStar to help Japan discover and recover new-found subsea resources, as well as educate future generations of Japanese.
The MOU was signed on May 1, 2018 at the Hotel ZaZa in Houston, and speaking at the event Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa said "We need to acquire the resources to discover and reach (our) natural resources. There is no question that Houton is the hub of space exploration, but ehere are two other areas of clear leadership: baseball and the World Champion Houston Astros, and offshore energy."
In an interview with Maritime Reporter & Engineering News before the signing, Chairman Sasakawa said that there were two significant points in the signing of the MOU with Deepstar: one is "hands-on" and surrounding the discovery and recovery of natural resources off of Japan, "which as you know are scarce; but there have been recent discoveries of some rare metals" off the shores of Japan. "At the same time we do not have the means or the technology to extract those resouces. This capability is something that Japan will have to acquire as soon as possible to leverage those available resources."
While Japan is a technology leader in robotics and artificial intelligence, the same cannot be said for its offshore energy business. The plan is for the Deepstar relationship to facilitate intelligence transfer for Japan's next generation.
DeepStar is a joint industry technology development project focused on advancing the technologies to meet its members' deepwater business needs to deliver increased production and reserves.