As the core center for Japanese scientific research and observation of the polar regions, the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) engages in comprehensive research via its observation stations in the Arctic and Antarctica. It is also an inter-university research institute that provides researchers in all parts of Japan with infrastructure support for Arctic and Antarctic observations while working diligently to promote polar science by publicly soliciting collaboration research projects as well as providing samples, materials, and information.
As the core institution in Japan’s Antarctic observations, the NIPR plans and implements Japan’s Antarctic observation projects. The ninth six-year plan, which starts with the 58th Antarctic Observation, will carry out various research observations, with the main theme focusing on “Exploring Geosystem Changes from the Polar Regions.” In addition to maintaining and operating the facilities at the Antarctic observation stations, tasks include organizing the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition Team, conducting various training evolutions, procuring goods and supplies necessary for observation projects (together with the development of appropriate delivery plans), as well as managing and storing the samples and materials obtained via our projects. As the core institution in observation of the Arctic region We conduct Arctic observations that cover observations of the atmosphere, ice sheets, the ecosystem, the upper atmosphere, the aurora, the Earth’s magnetic field and so on, from ground-based observation stations in Svalbard, Greenland, northern Scandinavia, Iceland, and other areas. The NIPR also conducts observations of the oceanic ecosystem and the atmosphere in the Arctic Ocean and its peripheral seas. Additionally, the NIPR is one of the representative institutions implementing the Arctic Challenge for Sustainability (ArCS) Project, which is a subsidiary project funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and which kicked off in FY2015.
As an educational institution, the NIPR offers, as part of efforts to foster researchers with a broad, global perspective and a sense of originality, a five-year doctoral program for graduate students of the Department of Polar Science at the School of Multidisciplinary Sciences of SOKENDAI (the Graduate University for Advanced Studies).