Otsuchi Coastal Research Center, The Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute (AORI), The University of Tokyo (UTokyo)


The Sanriku coastal region, including Otsuchi Bay, where the Otsuchi Coastal Research Center (ICRC) is located, is widely known for high productivity and biodiversity being fostered by both cold and warm currents. The Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 caused a massive tsunami that severely damaged the coastal ecosystem along the Sanriku region. The ICRC will continue intensive coastal marine scientific research and conduct continuous observations of coastal ecosystems after the disaster in 2011, aiming to play an important role in international networks of coastal marine sciences. The ICRC initiated a social contribution/educational program named “School of marine science and local hopes in Sanriku” to build close relationships with local communities in cooperation with the Institute of Social Science of the University of Tokyo. The research and accommodation buildings were reconstructed in February 2018, and experimental rearing facilities with an exhibition room will be established soon.

Research Contents

Coastal Ecosystem Section

The coastal ecosystem section investigates mechanisms of formation and maintenance of the high productivity and biodiversity in coastal seas, focusing on oceanic and tidal currents, atmospheric and climatological conditions, and historical environmental changes.

Coastal Conservation Section

The coastal conservation section aims to provide a framework for conservation, restoration, and sustainability of coastal ecosystems by focusing on the life history and behavioral ecology of coastal marine organisms and dynamics of bioelements in the coastal areas.

Coastal Ecosystem Restoration Section

The section “Coastal Ecosystem Restoration” investigates the effects of the mega-earthquake and massive tsunami events of March 11, 2011, on coastal ecosystems and organisms, and monitors the secondary successions of damaged ecosystems.

Coastal Marine and Social Science Section

The section promotes ocean research on the Sanriku coast, and clarifies biological and oceanographic diversity different according to the bays. It also seeks the importance and roles of the coast from the viewpoints of cultural and social sciences.

Regional Linkage Section

The regional linkage division endeavors to coordinate academic programs of coastal marine science by establishing a network of scientific collaboration between domestic and foreign universities, institutes, and organizations.

Faculty Members

Coastal Ecosystem Section

  • Professor (concurrent) TSUDA, Atsushi tsuda@aori.u-tokyo.ac.jp
  • Professor (concurrent) MICHIDA, Yutaka ymichida@
  • Associate Professor TANAKA, Kiyoshi ktanaka@
  • Associate Professor (concurrent) NISHIBE, Yuichiro ynishibe@
  • Associate Professor (concurrent) SHIRAI, Kotaro kshirai@
  • Assistant Professor OHTSUCHI, Naoya ohtsuchi@

Coastal Conservation Section

  • Director/Professor AOYAMA, Jun jaoyama@
  • Professor (concurrent) SATO, Katsufumi katsu@
  • Associate Professor FUKUDA, Hidek hfukuda@
  • Associate Professor (concurrent) MINEGISHI, Yuki y.minegishi@
  • Lecturer HIRABAYASHI, Shoko s-hirabayashi@

Coastal Ecosystem Restoration Section

  • Professor (concurrent) KAWAMURA,Tomohiko kawamura@
  • Research Associate HAYAKAWA, Jun jhayakawa@

Coastal Marine and Social Science Section

  • Director/Professor AOYAMA, Jun jaoyama@
  • Associate Professor KITAGAWA, Takashi takashik@

Contact Information

Otsuchi Coastal Research Center

The Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo 1-19-8, Akahama, Otsuchi, Iwate 028-1102, Japan

Tel. : +81-193-42-5611 (only in Japanese) Fax: +81-193-42-5612 (only in Japanese) E-mail: engan-jimu@aori.u-tokyo.ac.jp (only in Japanese)

For contact in English, please get in touch with Director/Professor Jun Aoyama: jaoyama@aori.u-tokyo.ac.jp, or the other faculty members listed above.