VOS Nippon is a certified NPO based in Japan. We use monitoring equipment installed onboard commercial vessels to gather oceanographic data, which we make openly and freely available for use by any individual and/or organization. Data on sea surface temperature, salinity, etc., gathered from the Asian seas, the Pacific Ocean and the coastal waters of Japan may be downloaded from this site.
We firmly believe that our continued efforts over the years in the collection of highly accurate data first-hand from the oceans will make a definite contribution to a better understanding of changes in the marine environment; just as ripples will spread wide from a single drop of rain.

About Us

What is the purpose of Vos Nippon’s activities ?

 Vos Nippon is a certified NPO that began operating in March 2001. The ocean covers two-thirds of the Earth’s surface, and is in direct contact with the atmosphere: because of this, for example, it absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere; the heat of the oceans warms the atmosphere; and large quantities of rain clouds are created. Of course, the effects go the other way, too. The use of private commercial vessels to carry out long-term monitoring of the ocean surface, which is also the boundary between the ocean and the atmosphere, can contribute to a more accurate understanding of changes in the global environment, including climate change and changes in the water cycle. Gaining the cooperation of private vessels engaged in economic activities as voluntary observation vessels in order to collect accurate data over a long period of time, is a role well suited to an NPO. The activities of Vos Nippon do not directly resolve the challenges facing society. However, we are convinced that the understanding of basic oceanic data as a socially-owned asset will enable the construction of the foundations of an affluent society.

The progress of Vos Nippon so far

 The principle behind the activities of Vos Nippon is to contribute to the understanding of changes in the ocean environment by providing society with basic oceanic data that anyone can use freely; and on the basis of this principle, Vos Nippon has installed equipment to measure water temperature and salinity on a freighter sailing in Asian waters between Japan and the Gulf of Thailand from August 2001 to August 2014, and on a coal carrier sailing in the North and South Pacific between Japan and Australia from July 2002 to February 2017, and has published on the web the data gathered at one-minute intervals while sailing on the open sea, on the principle that its use should be free of charge and unlimited. From September 2017, Vos Nippon began to gather and publish data on water temperature, salinity and pH using a RoRo ship sailing the coastal waters between Tokyo and Hokkaido.

 Compared to the land, the infrastructure for observations at sea is very limited; and the creation of a mechanism for the efficient gathering of oceanic data with the cooperation of those engaged in maritime transportation brings great benefits to society as a whole. We believe that Vos Nippon plays an important role in making this mechanism work, and we will continue to do so in the future.

What kind of data does Vos Nippon collect ?

 Salinity and water temperature are the basic physical quantities of the ocean. Water temperature and salinity are measured by all our vessels operating in the Asian sea area, in the sea area between Japan and Australia, and in the coastal area between Tokyo and Hokkaido. It is well known that since seawater has the property to store heat, the climate of land areas facing the sea is milder than that of inland areas. Due to the wind, differences in the density of the seawater determined by temperature and salinity, and the rotation of the Earth, seawater is moved and mixed and transports the heat energy and substances such as CO2 that are dissolved in it.

 From June 2002 to November 2005, the vessel in the Asian seas measured florescence intensity. Florescence intensity is an indicator of the amount of phytoplankton present. Phytoplankton take in carbon dioxide through photosynthesis and produce organic matter, and some of the organic matter produced eventually sinks to the ocean floor thus transporting carbon from the ocean surface layer to deeper areas. It can be said that the amount of phytoplankton present, taking chlorophyll-a as an indicator, is the basis of information on the carbon cycle in the ocean.

 From November 2018, the vessel sailing the coastal waters between Tokyo and Hokkaido have been measuring pH. As concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere rise and increasing amounts are absorbed by the oceans, the seawater becomes more acidic. The acidification of seawater is of particular concern with regard to the impact on organisms that have calcium carbonate shells, and pH data provides information that is useful in understanding complex marine ecosystems.

Profile of VOS Nippon

Profile of VOS Nippon
1. Organization VOS Nippon is a Not-for-profit organization registered and verified under the Japanese law.

2. Established On March 13, 2001
On April 16, 2008 Obtained status for the income tax deduction for donors (in Japan).

3. Address M's Tower 1001, 18-7, Sakaecho 1-chome, Odawara,
Kanagawa, 250-0011 Japan
Tel: +81 465 21 6105 Facs: +81 465 21 6109
Email: vos-npn@vos-nippon.jp
Website: http://vos-nippon.jp

(Click here for the map)

4. Membership (1) Full Members
To include persons who support the objectives of this organization, possess specialized skills, experience, and/or knowledge, and can actively participate in its activities. This class of membership will have full voting powers.
(2) Supporting Members
To include both individuals and organizations which support our objectives. They will be asked to pay membership dues, as separately provided, but will not be eligible to vote at general meetings.

5. Board members and auditor T. Kaneko, Board member
N. Nakajima, Board member, Chairperson
Y. Tanaka, Board member
Y. Uemura, Board member
Y. Tejima, Auditor

6. Staff One fulltime and 1 non-fullltime staff

7. Objectives and Programme In order to benefit all persons interested in the marine environment and bio-production, VOS Nippon thus collects and analyzes the observation data gathered by private voluntary vessels for widespread dissemination, both in Japan and abroad. This organization was set up to shed light on the physical environment on the earth's surface as well as the production mechanism for living marine resources, while promoting interest in and understanding of the oceanic environment among the general public. Our activities cover the following areas:

(1) Acquisition, validation, analysis, and dissemination of observation data on the surface layer of the world's oceans.
(2) Development of continuous, automated observation equipment for ship-borne use.
(3) Recruitment of voluntary observing ships for participation in the observation program.
(4) Public awareness activity to disseminate information relating to the marine environment.
(5) Other activities as necessary to the attainment of the above objectives.

8. Operational plans for
Apr. 2019/Mar. 2020
(1) Collecting and publicly releasing data
(2) Maintaining sensors
(3) Ocean monitoring

The operation of VOS Nippon is supported by grant and contributions from both individuals and organizations acknowledging our mission, as well as assistance from specialists in variety of fields. The operating budget for the fiscal year 2019 is about Yen 2.37 million.