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G7 Transport Ministers' Meeting in Ise-Shima, Mie Promotion Council

An Event About Mie Prefecture, the Birthplace of Pearl Farming @Nihonbashi Muromachi “Mie Terrace”


(1) The forefront of high-quality pearl farming
-How are they responding to climate change and what is sustainable pearl cultivation?
(2) Meeting ama divers who protect traditional fishing methods
(3) Partake in nature’s bounty: luncheon featuring culinary specialties of Mie Prefecture
Tuesday, February 28, 11:00-13:00 (until 14:00 for those interested)

This June, the G7 Transport Ministers’ Meeting will be held in Shima City, Mie Prefecture.


Located near the geographic center of Japan facing the Pacific Ocean, Mie Prefecture’s 1000km-long coastline stretches lengthwise from the Ise Bay in the east to the Kumano Nada Sea in the south. Numerous industries have developed in the prefecture by way of its diverse geography and climate.


The history, culture, and industry in the coastal areas of the Ise-Shima region encompassing Shima city have developed harmoniously with the region’s dynamic ecosystem comprised of unique geographical features like rias coasts and rich seaweed beds. Traditional free diving techniques of female ama divers and the world’s first high quality pearl harvesting industry are just a few examples of this synergistic relationship with the environment.


Mie Terrace, Mie Prefecture’s marketing base in the Tokyo metropolitan area (located in Nihonbashi Muromachi, Tokyo), will host a luncheon for foreign press and embassy representatives to sample delicious Mie cuisine while being introduced to Mie Prefecture’s unique history, culture, and industries, as well as the changes in the marine environment surrounding these industries and efforts to resolve the issues they are facing.


There will also be a hands-on experience and networking event for those who wish to participate. We look forward to your participation.


<Outline of the event>

Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2023, 11:00-13:00 (until 14:00 for those interested) (Venue opens at 10:30)

Place: Mie Terrace (YUITO ANNEX 1F and 2F, 2-4-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo)


    Access & Map:

Organizer: G7 Transport Ministers' Meeting in Ise-Shima, Mie Promotion Council

Free of charge with spaces available for 20 people, consecutive English interpretation provided


@2nd Floor Event Space

11:00-11:45 Presentations on Environmental Issues in Mie’s Industries

"Global Environmental Changes and Local Challenges for Mie's Oceans"

"Pearls, a Gift from the Sea Created by People and Nature"

11:45-11:55 (Q&A)

11:55-12:15 Presentation on Ama Diving

"Ama, Women who have been Diving Since Ancient Times"


@1st Floor Restaurant

12:15-13:00 Luncheon 

An Italian lunch course using ingredients from Mie Prefecture. Please enjoy the lunch along with local sake and other beverages.


-Small appetizer

-Mie seafood carpaccio, in the style of the day

-Oven-baked Mie turban shells (sazae)

-Pasta with pearl scallops

-Grilled Matsusaka beef

-Ise tea tiramisu, Mie terrace style


*The menu is subject to change.

*Please let us know if you have any allergies or other food restrictions when you register.


@2nd Floor Event Space (for those interested)

13:00-14:00 Pearl extraction from Akoya pearl oyster

You will experience extracting your very own pearls from an Akoya pearl oyster.

Talking with active ama divers

You will have an opportunity to hear from active ama divers. There will also be an exhibition of materials related to ama culture.



Please send the following information by e-mail. *Application deadline: Friday, February 24, 2023

Address: As shown in "Inquiries" below


(1) Participant's name:

(2) Name of organization:

*In case of media: Type of media (newspaper, magazine, TV, etc.), nationality of the media organization

(3) Mobile phone number (for contact on the day of the event):

(4) Other (allergies, requests for coverage, etc.):

(5) In regards to the pearl extraction experience and/or talking with active ama divers:

*You may choose whether to participate on the day of the event, but we would appreciate it if you could let us know in advance.



Foreign Press Center, Public Relations & Strategy Division

Attn: SATO Ayako

Email: Tel: 03-3501-5251




(1) Measures to be taken regarding COVID-19

Participants are requested to take measures to prevent infection, such as taking their temperature before the event, wearing a mask during the event, and washing and disinfecting their hands.

(2) Please be advised that videos, photos, and articles documenting the event may be posted on the organizer's website and social media.

(3) Reporters from Mie Prefecture may be present to cover the event (they will only be filming in designated locations).



(Details of Presentations)


Global Environmental Changes and Local Challenges for Mie's Ocean
By Hideo Aoki, Doctor of Fisheries Science and Research Management Supervisor at the Mie Prefecture Fisheries Research Institute (Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries)


In recent years, global warming has been progressing worldwide, and as a result, seawater temperatures around Japan have been rising as well. According to long-term observations of water temperatures conducted by the Mie Prefectural Fisheries Laboratory, Ago Bay in Mie Prefecture has recorded a rise of approximately 1.1°C (average value) over the past 100 years (the global sea surface temperature rose by 0.56°C).


Additionally, the trajectory of the warm water Kuroshio Current has caused warm water to flow into the coasts of Mie Prefecture, resulting in extremely high seawater temperatures. These high water temperatures have caused changes in the marine environment and fisheries industry in Mie Prefecture, negatively impacting the number of seaweed beds and aquaculture production including pearls.


This presentation will introduce the current situation of high water temperature in the marine environment of Mie Prefecture and efforts to solve problems for the sustainable development of the fisheries industry, including from the perspective of the SDGs.



Pearls, a Gift from the Sea Produced by Human Beings and Nature
By Takashi Atsumi, Doctor of Science and Senior Researcher at the Mie Prefecture Fisheries Research Institute (Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries)


Pearls are jewels created by living creatures. The Ise-Shima region of Mie Prefecture is the birthplace of the pearl farming industry, and Ago Bay in Shima City, where the G7 Transport Ministers' Meeting will be held, is still the main production area of Akoya pearls in Japan. Pearl farmers in this region have advanced cultivation techniques and produce high-quality pearls of various sizes, from small (rindama) to large (daiju), through proper cultivation and management of Akoya oysters.


In recent years, as the environment surrounding pearl farming has changed due to climate change and other factors, it has become difficult to stably produce high-quality pearls.


This report will introduce how pearl farmers, Mie Prefecture, and municipalities have confronted and attempted to resolve this situation, and their efforts toward the sustainable development of the pearl farming industry.



Ama, Women Who Have Been Diving Since Ancient Times
Machiyo Yamashita (ama diver with 48 years of experience, from Shima City, Mie Prefecture)
Kaori Arai (ama diver with 10 years of experience, from Mishima-gun, Osaka Prefecture)
Mai Ishihara from the Toba City Sea-Folk Museum


Toba City and Shima City, both blessed with an abundance of marine products, are home to about half of all ama divers in Japan.


Ama fishing, in which women free dive to catch abalone, turban shells, and seaweed, is not only a traditional fishing method handed down for 3,000 years, but also a rare fishing method that exists only in Japan and Korea.


In addition, ama fishing has long been a sustainable practice that has enabled coexistence between humans and nature through resource management with strict catch limits such as fishing seasons and catch sizes.


Thanks to these efforts and the heritage’s historical significance, ama fishing in Toba and Shima was designated as an “important folk cultural property” of Japan in 2017, as a “national agricultural heritage” the same year, and as a “Japanese heritage” in 2019.


Two active ama divers are invited to introduce the fishing techniques and ama culture that have been handed down along with the rich nature. There will also be a question-and-answer opportunity to hear their honest opinions.

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