National Institute for Sea Training (NIST) of Japan

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Dr. Noriyuki Matsuzaki
National Institute for Sea Training (NIST) of Japan, writes to
GlobalMET to give us the latest update at the NIST


The National Institute for Sea Training (NIST) Japan

The National Institute for Sea Training (NIST) Japan, is a government institution. It provides the necessary training to fulfil the requirements of the STCW Convention and national legislation. NIST is the main provider of the sea training for students of the merchant mariners’ schools such as the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Kobe University, National College of Maritime Technology and Marine Technical College except fisheries schools. Part of sea training is also
provided by shipping companies.

NIST Training ships

NIST operates five training ships. These comprise two tall ships (NIPPON MARU & KAIWO MARU) and three motor powered ships (TAISEI MARU, GINGA MARU & SEIUN MARU), designed exclusively for sea training purposes. If you would like to know about us. Please visit our web-page

Female deck and engineer

I appreciate this great opportunity to introduce our female deck and engineer officers and also our new educational efforts in the institution.

Officer Miyako Wagatsuma

Officer Miyako Wagatsuma
Figure 2 – Officer Miyako Wagatsuma

Since childhood, I loved the ocean very much. I have entered the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT) because I would like to protect the ocean and to know more about it. Through various experiences and encounters with people when I was a student, I noticed that most Japanese are not so conscious that their country is surrounded by the ocean, and that their knowledge and the interest in the ocean were little. Therefore, I decided to learn about the marine environment and maritime industry and how to manage and sustain these for the future generations in this country. I now hope our children will have more familiarity and interest in the ocean.

Onboard training

I participated in a month-long, on-board training as a third grader at TUMSAT and sailed around Japan on a training ship. This one-month training experience was like a dream come true, because I felt different winds and waves every day and every moment. From this experience I came to think that I would like to be a seafarer in the future. Two years later, I became a deck officer of a training voyage ship. I thought this occupation was my calling, and felt that way when I was offered the job. I have now worked as a deck officer for 3 years. There are more female officers and engineers engaged in this organization than other shipping companies. Therefore I do not feel any inconvenience with life on-board, even though there isn’t any ladies’ drying room. I have no issues with this.

Care of cadets

The deck officer of the training ship is required to take care of cadets in addition to general work as a deck officer on board the ship. Duties include preparation of the navigation bridge and tank management (fresh water). Even though I am a female, the job responsibility is not different from a male officer, and I don’t wish so. I try to do my best all the time, and will ask for assistance whenever necessary.

There are also a lot of interesting discoveries in the on-board training and daily life with cadets. Cadets learn wonders of nature and importance of coexisting with nature through the on-board training at sea. I want them to know how wonderful it is to have a dream and help their dream come true.

Professor Maki Kado (Ms)

Figure 3 – Professor Maki Kado (Ms)

My name is Maki KADO (Ms.). I am the Junior 1st Engineer (senior instructor of marine engineering course) on the Training Ship TAISEI-MARU. This training ship is operated under the supervision of the National Institute for Sea Training (NIST) of JAPAN. I am pleased to narrate this story of my seafaring career. I decided to enter the Mercantile Maritime University because I thought I could gain the knowledge and skills of marine and naval science specifically at this university. During the studying period at the University, we have on-board training periods at
NIST for one to three months (in total 12 months). I had little knowledge in marine engineering, so everything was fresh in my first on-board training as a first year student. I wanted to learn, understand and operate the ship’s engine and to maintain the plant and machinery. I thought it would be fun to work as a marine engineer. This triggered my wish to become a marine engineer in fact.

Female Seafarers

Currently, the shipping companies employ few female seafarers. It has however, been increasing little by little. Most Japanese shipping companies employ only a few female seafarers because of the lack of ladies’ sanitary installations and other amenities. I encountered these difficulties when I was a cadet. Some female officers had already worked at NIST. Therefore, it was not difficult to imagine how females would work at sea as an officer, engineer and as an instructor on a training ship. This was why there was no anxiety to be employed by NIST as a female

It is assumed that there are some difficulties for females to work as a marine engineer because of our lesser physical strength. I realized that this factor was not a hindrance. Whenever I lacked physical strength, I used appropriate electric and hydraulic tools to assist, just like most males anyway. When I am not tall enough
and can’t reach certain equipment, it is appropriate to use a stepladder. In fact, I can work more smoothly in small places than a man. I have worked hard with these limitations, and had good support from other engineers and crew. I appreciate that
I have been able to work as a marine engineer without being so conscious of the gender differences.

Onboard training for maritime licenses

NIST provides the on-board training for qualifications of maritime licenses, for cadets of Mercantile Marine University or colleges in Japan. My responsibility is planning and coordination of the on-board training program, specifically for the engineering department, in accordance with the STCW convention. Recently,
we have started providing training for Engine Resource Management and Electro-Technology qualifications which were implemented in accordance with the Manila amendments in 2010.

The responsibilities of the Junior 1st Engineer are at the management level and differ from operational level such as 3rd or 2nd engineer. I team up with subordinate engineers to provide education and training for the cadets under the supervision of the Senior professor of engineering. It is necessary to perform
and demonstrate leadership and communicate with senior and junior engineers all the time even if I am a female engineer.

Challenges of managing people

Indeed, it is not easy to manage people and duties, but these challenges will make me more professional as a marine engineer and instructor. Some graduating cadets visit and tell us their experience and current status with very lively expressions.

I am delighted that the cadet graduates, who were brought up in the NIST training ships, are playing primary roles in the domestic and international shipping industry. This fact cheers me and I feel the great worth of my job. If female cadets are employed in shipping companies that employ female seafarers for the first time, they will meet severe evaluation in the job as female seafarer. I intend to send them my supporting message, and encourage them to increase working opportunities for female seafarers in the maritime industry.

I support and promote increasing employment opportunities for female cadets who are eager to work in the maritime field. Japan is one of the biggest merchant shipping fleet operating nations. I will maintain my greatest mission to distribute
excellent ship-officers into the world shipping industry. I will succeed as I press on hard to fulfill this ambition.

Professor Kazumasa Shimoda

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Figure 4 and 5 – Professor Kazumasa Shimoda & Cadet using
eLearning methods

Effective training methods

We have been working on a study on how to provide effective
training for cadets in the training term. As a new program, we have developed a prototype e-learning system on TAISEI MARU III and KAIWO MARU II, two of training fleets of National Institute for Sea Training (NIST). The new e-learning system is usable without connecting the Internet. Moreover, the system applies the flipped-classroom teaching etc technique and methodology.



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