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Japanese-U.S. deep sea drilling project

Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Atsuko Toyama and the U.S. National Science Foundation Director Rita Colwell are ready to coordinate a deep-sea drilling project called the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. Samples will be taken from the Earth’s crust using the U.S. Joides Resolution and the soon-to-come Chikyu (Japanese for ‘Earth’). The Chikyu will be capable of drilling 7 kilometers into the seabed in 4 kilometer-deep waters and collect the first-ever samples from the Earth’s mantle layer. The project is to explore the mechanism behind large earthquakes, climate change, and microorganisms living in the Earth’s crust. This project is expected to start in October and last 10 years on a budget of 16-20 billion yen annually.

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