A new ocean drilling program called IODP (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program) is going start soon (Oct. 2003). This is a science program to understand the globe. The tools to do this program are the drillship. JAMSTEC is now constructing a very new drillship "Chikyu". This paper describes the IODP and the "Chikyu".
Japan Marine Science and Technology Center (JAMSTEC) has been and is now promoting the "OD21" program which is an abbreviation of "Ocean Drilling in the 21st century" since 1990. It is the first plan in the world to utilize deep-water riser-drilling technologies for ocean drilling of science purposes. The Present Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) has been carried out through the international cooperation of 21 countries with the lead of USA, and many outstanding results have been achieved. However, this program is scheduled to finish at the end of September 2003. Then, USA has started to think about the post-ODP. So, the idea of integrating the two programs (OD21 and post-ODP) has emerged as "Integrated Ocean Drilling Program" or IODP for short. IODP shall be an international science program lead by Japan and USA, and many other countries shall join the program. Japan offers a riser equipped drillship and US a non-riser ship. Being excited by this movement, European countries became to be tied up and their consortium has proposed an idea of "Mission Specific Platform" for IDOP. Their target is the very shallow area or the arctic area where moving iceberg may exist. Thus, the earth scientists in the world are going to focusing their interest into the IODP. One of the key-factors for this new program is the riser drillship. JAMSTEC has been continuing technological study of a science drillship with operational capability in waters up to 4,000 m deep.