News Release 

The science symposium of the Asian Forum for Polar Sciences (AFoPS) was held successfully online

Promoting the future polar joint observations in Asian countries

Research Organization of Information and Systems

Scientific Meeting Announcement

The AFoPS Science Symposium was held online on March 3 and 4 (Japan time). The symposium was organized by the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR, Japan) and led by Dr. Takuji Nakamura, Director-General of NIPR, who chaired the Forum for 2019-2020. The symposium focused on the stimulation of joint observations in the polar regions among Asian countries. Due to the influence of COVID-19, it was held online for the first time and attended by 61 participants from 11 countries.

Six member countries (China, Japan, Korea, India, Malaysia, and Thailand) presented their latest results in the "Scientific projects for future collaborations" session. From Japan, Associate Professor Yusuke Suganuma of NIPR gave a talk entitled "A scientific collaboration with NCPOR, India: Schirmacher Oasis Nippon (Japan) India Coring expedition." In addition, sessions were planned to introduce researches from Iran, Australia, Egypt, Sri Lanka, and Turkey, which participated as observers. Through the lively question and answers, the symposium successfully provided an opportunity to exchange information and ideas for new collaborative research. It was a great pleasure as a host institute that this first online symposium was very effective and that there were many positive comments from the participants, including the expectation to hold such meetings several times a year.

A Member Countries' Meeting was held following the symposium on March 4. Representatives of the AFoPS members exchanged opinions on the current status of polar observations under the COVID-19 pandemic and discussed the future activities of the Forum.


As the only polar research network among Asian countries, AFoPS plans to promote advanced polar research continuously and contribute to further cooperation under the COVID-19 pandemic. NIPR will continue to support AFoPS as a Representative of Japan.

About Asian Forum for Polar Sciences (AFoPS):

The Asian Forum for Polar Sciences (AFoPS) is a non-governmental organization established in 2004 to encourage and facilitate cooperation for advancing polar sciences among countries in the Asian region. The Forum consists of its 6 Members, national polar research institutions representing China, Japan, South Korea, India, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Many cooperation among Asian countries, such as invitation of observers for each training course for polar expeditions, collaborative field research in Arctic and Antarctic, and joint publication of AFoPS special issue, have been carried out with the support of this research network.

About National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR)

The NIPR engages in comprehensive research via observation stations in Arctic and Antarctica. As a member of the Research Organization of Information and Systems (ROIS), the NIPR provides researchers throughout Japan with infrastructure support for Arctic and Antarctic observations, plans and implements Japan's Antarctic observation projects, and conducts Arctic researches of various scientific fields such as the atmosphere, ice sheets, the ecosystem, the upper atmosphere, the aurora and the Earth's magnetic field. In addition to the research projects, the NIPR also organizes the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition and manages samples and data obtained during such expeditions and projects. As a core institution in researches of the polar regions, the NIPR also offers graduate students with a global perspective on originality through its doctoral program. For more information about the NIPR, please visit: https://

About the Research Organization of Information and Systems (ROIS)

The Research Organization of Information and Systems (ROIS) is a parent organization of four national institutes (National Institute of Polar Research, National Institute of Informatics, the Institute of Statistical Mathematics and National Institute of Genetics) and the Joint Support-Center for Data Science Research. It is ROIS's mission to promote integrated, cutting-edge research that goes beyond the barriers of these institutions, in addition to facilitating their research activities, as members of inter-university research institutes.

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