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Nippon Foundation supports World Maritime University

Nippon Foundation Chairman Mr Yohei Sasakawa, speaking at the inauguration of new WMU premises, said the foundation was prepared to set up a special endowment fund worth US$100 million to support the University.The Nippon Foundation, a Japanese philanthropic organization that
promotes social innovation, has said it is willing to establish a US$100 million endowment fund to support expansive and innovative activities at the World Maritime University (WMU).
Based in Malmo, Sweden, the WMU is a postgraduate maritime university founded by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 1983 as a centre of excellence for maritime post-graduate education and research. Speaking at the inauguration of a new campus for the University (on Tuesday 19 May), Nippon Foundation Chairman Mr Yohei Sasakawa announced the foundation was prepared to set up a special endowment fund worth US$100 million.

He said the fund would be to support the University to establish itself as “an ocean and maritime research institution engaged in multi-disciplinary scientific research in the marine field, and an educational institution that generates human resources who have the capacity to address ocean issues with a multi-disciplinary approach.

The Nippon Foundation is a long-standing supporter of the WMU and Mr Sasakawa also pledged a further US$3 million per annum for ten years to continue its existing student fellowship programme and enhance the Nippon Foundation Chair.

Mr Sasakawa’s pledge came following the recent decision of the WMU Board of Governors to approve a study for the financial sustainability of the university which identified 8 strategic directions that would be key to the institution’s sustainability and future growth (See IMO Briefing.20/2015). They include:

•expansion of the WMU scope to include ocean-related matters, and the establishment of a Maritime and Ocean Policy Research Institute within WMU; and
•establishment of an endowment fund

Mr Sasakawa voiced his support for an expanded ocean-related agenda for WMU, stating “It is my wish for WMU to keep moving forward to establish itself as an educational and research institution that can address ocean issues from not just the maritime but the greater oceanic field.”
Mr Koji Sekimizu, Secretary-General of the IMO and Chancellor of WMU expressed his deepest thanks to Mr Sasakawa and the Nippon Foundation for this historic pledge. “Mr Sasakawa’s vision for WMU is completely in line with the eight strategic directions recently adopted by the WMU Board of Governors. The oceans and the shipping industry, both so vital to the future of mankind, must have leaders that are very well versed in ocean policy matters and can take a global view of the oceans and shipping. WMU will provide those leaders, and the pledge made by the Nippon Foundation today is a major step forward in achieving the expansive and innovative strategic directions adopted by the Board of Governors.”

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