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    Japan  〒904-2234

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    12-75 Suzaki, Uruma-City 
    Okinawa Prefecture 
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    12-75 Suzaki, Uruma-City
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TOP > Japan's Biodiversity

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World's Highest Marine Biodiversity: Waters Of Japan

Rich Bio Diversity in Japanese Coastal Areas

The marine biodiversity of Japan ranks first in the world (same rank as Australia). About 14.6% (34,000 species) of the total number (230,000) of described marine species (NDS) from the global ocean inhabit the Japanese waters. The total number of identified but undescribed marine species (NUS) estimated to be 121,913, is approximately four times the NDS in Japan (Fujikura et. al., 2010). Japan coastal areas, based on this report, are very rich in biodiversity.Various climatic zones (subtropical to subarctic), plural warm and cold currents, various sea depths, and complex undersea topography provide high marine biodiversity to the area.
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chart of species in Japan

Bio Diversity Of Okinawan Costal Areas

Okinawa is the biggest island in the Ryukyu Islands.  Ryukyu islands belong to the Indo-West Pacific region, with flora and fauna of both northern and southern origins. The sea around the islands is regarded as representing the northernmost extremity of the tropical zone. Although the area borders the temperate waters around the main islands of Japan, it accommodates a much higher marine biodiversity characteristic of tropical waters. For example, a very large number of species of sponges, algae and cnidarians (coral, soft coral, hydro insects, jellyfish), known to be a treasure trove of physiologically active substances inhabit the Okinawa waters.

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Terrestrial Biodiversity Of Ryukyu island


Given the unique ecosystems seen from island to island, the Ryukyu Islands have been termed the “Galapagos of the East”, and known internationally for the high levels of diversity and endemicity of its biota. For example, Yanbaru, which is the forested northern part of Okinawa Island, contains some of the large surviving tracts of subtropical rainforest in Asia with many endemic species of flora and fauna.

OPBIO has the unique advantage to harness the rich biodiversity of Japan for natural products research on drug discovery, food, cosmetics, agriculture, animal health and other applications.

Our natural product resources are collected from Japan and their availability is not constrained by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Biological resources can be used without any compliance violations since necessary permits are obtained from proper authorities prior to collection.