June 19, 2013 Updated
JAXA puts emphasis on international cooperation, and currently most of the projects have been conducted through international cooperation.
International cooperation between the United States and Japan started in 1969, when "The Japan-U.S. Joint Communique" on cooperation in the space development was exchanged. Since then, JAXA has been participating in international projects, which have been mainly led by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) such as the International Space Station, by dispatching Japanese astronauts on Space Shuttle missions, earth observations, and scientific satellite missions.
We regularly hold a Japan-Canada Space Panel with the Canadian Space Agency to exchange opinions on earth observations, microgravity technology, and other fields in view of a long-term mutual cooperation agreement made in 1989. We are also cooperating as a partner in the International Space Station Project.
International cooperation between Europe and Japan started in 1972 with an exchange of information under the official notes concluded with the European Space Agency (ESA) on cooperation in space exploration.
With the start of the 1980's, Japan's involvement with European partners increased. This partnership now includes mutual support between the space agencies of Japan and France (the Centre National D'Etudes Spatiales: CNES) in the launch of earth observation satellites. And with Swedish Space Corporation (SSC), NASDA established a Mobile Tracking and Data Acquisition Station in Kiruna, Sweden. A space experiment was also conducted in cooperation with the Russian Space Agency (RSA), using the Russian space station, Mir. These activities help to further international cooperation in earth observation between Japan and its European partners. Russia is the only country in Europe which has previous experience in space-station operation, and its know-how can make a significant contribution to the International Space Station project.
As part of our cooperative relations with Asia-Pacific countries, we mutually receive data directly from earth observation satellites and conduct cooperative research using observation data with Thailand, Australia, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, and Korea. With the support of the Kiribati government, since 1976 NASDA has established a downrange station on Christmas Island. The station is currently maintained by JAXA. In 2006, JAXA and the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) signed the "Memorandum of Agreement in Aerospace Fields."
In 1993, Japan led the establishment of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF). The APRSAF holds a regular meeting on international cooperation in the Asian Pacific region and 26 countries from the region participate. In 2006, the "Sentinel-Asia (Asian supervisors)" was inaugurated to construct the "Asian disaster preparation and risk management system," comprising of 34 organizations from 18 countries and four international organizations.
In 2008, the Space Application for Environment (SAFE) project was established as a collaborative effort to monitor environmental changes on Earth by using earth observation satellites of the member countries of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF), including JAXA's satellite "DAICHI."
JAXA actively participates and supports various activities as a member of global and regional organizations such as the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS.) COPUOS discusses issues concerning exploration and peaceful uses of outer space and submits recommendations and proposals to the UN general assembly. CEOS was established in 1984 to coordinate technical issues and exchange information on earth observation satellite systems.
In the field of scientific satellites, it is significant to promote research under international cooperation. Cooperative work for space science is performed at various levels including the Inter-Agency Consultative Group (IACG) for space science, which was established thanks to the Halley’s Comet probe in the 1980s. Recently, in the field of scientific satellites, Japan shoulders a heavier responsibility as we have an increasing number of satellites that are loaded with onboard observation equipment developed by other countries.
In the area of lunar and planetary exploration, JAXA actively participated in a study of the Global Exploration Strategy (GES) by 14 space organizations in the world. We have since compiled the "GES: Framework for Coordination" (a framework document.) Currently, JAXA is a member of the International Space Exploration Coordination Group, a mechanism to realize our collaborative activities specified in the framework document, and to carry out more specific studies.
Dec. 6, 2007
Towards a New Era of Space Development