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February 6, 2014 Updated

20th APRSAF co-hosted by Japan and Vietnam

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The 20th session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-20), under the main theme entitled "Values From Space: 20 years of Asia-Pacific Experiences," successfully concluded its four-day program on Friday, December 6, 2013, at Melia Hanoi Hotel, in Hanoi, Vietnam. APRSAF-20 was jointly organized by the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST), the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (MEXT), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Approximately 420 participants from 28 countries and 8 international organizations attended the session.
APRSAF-20, as in the past, consisted of four working-group sessions that were held in parallel in the first two days and a plenary session in the second half of the forum. There were also relevant events in conjunction with APRSAF-20 such as a water rocket event, a SAFE workshop, a Kibo-ABC workshop, a poster contest, and an exhibition.
Dr. Keisuke Isogai, Deputy Director General, Research and Development Bureau, MEXT, participated in the event as the general co-chair, Mr. Eigo Nomura, Counsellor, Office of National Space Policy, Cabinet Office of JAPAN, made a keynote address, Prof. Setsuko Aoki, Faculty of Policy Management, Keio University, made a special speech in the plenary session.
Annual activity reports were made by space agency representatives from each country. Dr. Naoki Okumura, President of JAXA, reported on the recent JAXA activities (the deployment of the Vietnam small satellite "PicoDragon" from the ISS, the inaugural launch of the Epsilon rocket, Earth observation projects on disaster management and environment) and a future action plan (GPM and ALOS-2 satellites), and expressed the expectation for further development of the APRSAF. We also had presentations from international organizations such as the Group on Earth Observation (GEO), the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) and the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) about their expectations for expansion of cooperation in the region.
This time, the first trial of its kind in APRSAF has been made. The first joint statement for further space cooperation in the region by representatives from space agencies in the Asia-Pacific and past co-organizers of APRSAF was released through a panel discussion at the plenary. As part of a memorable 20th session, a special event "Values From ISS," moderated by Dr. Satoshi Furukawa, Japanese Astronaut, also took place and a video message from Dr. Koichi Wakata, the Japanese Astronaut now aboard the International Space Station (ISS), was delivered from space. At the event, some cooperation missions were introduced with Asian countries for the utilization of the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" to encourage further cooperation in the region through the ISS.
It was announced at the last plenary session, on December 6, that the next session, APRSAF-21, will be hosted by MEXT and JAXA and would take place in Tokyo, Japan.

November 25, 2013 Updated

20th APRSAF to be held in Vietnam from Dec. 3

The 20th Session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-20) will be held in Hanoi, Vietnam, between Dec. 3 (Tue.) to 6 (Fri.), 2013, hosted by Japan (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and JAXA) and Vietnam (Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, VAST).

Space-related organizations, government agencies, space application organizations, researchers and people from universities in the Asia and Pacific region will get together for this forum to actively engage in discussions along with this year's theme "Value from Space: 20 years of Asia-Pacific Experiences."

The forum consists of the plenary session and four working group sessions (for Earth Observation, Communication satellite Applications, Space Environment Utilization, and Space Education and Awareness.) Working group sessions will take place for the first two days, and the latter two days will be allocated for the plenary session for activity/initiative reports of participating organizations/agencies. The APRSAF, celebrating its 20th anniversary, will also hold various extra special sessions for promoting further cooperation in the space field in the Asia-Pacific region such as a special session aimed at finding new cooperation, a special guest lecture, and a special session by heads of space organizations of Asian countries including JAXA President Okumura.

As of Nov. 22, some 420 people have already registered for participation from seven international organizations from 32 countries and regions mainly from the Asia-Pacific region.

June 19, 2013 Updated

JAXA and ESA sign Amendment to the agreement concerning cooperation in the field of space parts

JAXA and the European Space Agency (hereinafter referred to as ESA) have extended the Agreement concerning cooperation in the field of space parts and amended the Agreement by adding a field of materials in order to promote the cooperation relationship in the field of space parts and materials between JAXA and ESA. The agreement was signed on June 18, 2013.

On June 19, 2007, JAXA and ESA have entered into an Agreement concerning cooperation in the field of space parts for a period of six years with the purpose of exchanging information regarding the procurement of space parts between Japan and Europe and promoting the usage of each other's parts. We have been working toward this goal trying to avoid the overlapping of the part development by exchanging personnel, and exchanging information regarding the test/inspection requirements for space parts in order to promote mutual understanding in the field of space parts between Japan and Europe. From this, we achieved steady results; Japanese space parts began to be used in Europe and European space parts are now considered to be used in Japan. With this achievement, we agreed to sign the extended Agreement on the cooperation in the space parts field. We also agreed on including the field of material in addition to the field of space parts. With this Agreement signed, we hope to contribute to the advance of space activities in both Japan and Europe by promoting various efforts in cooperation such as mutual evaluation and use, and joint research and development of space parts.

January 27, 2013 Updated

JAXA held 19 th APRSAF

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The nineteenth session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-19), under the main theme entitled "Enriching the quality of life through innovative space programs," successfully concluded its 4-day program on Friday, December 14, 2012, at the Berjaya Times Square Hotel Malaysia, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. APRSAF-19 was jointly organized by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Malaysia (MOSTI), the National Space Agency of Malaysia (ANGKASA), the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (MEXT), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Approximately 380 participants from 33 countries and 14 international organizations attended the session.

APRSAF-19, as was the case in the past, consisted of four working group (EO WG, CSA WG, SEA WG, and SEU WG) sessions that were held in parallel and the plenary. There were also relevant events in conjunctions with APRSAF-19 such as the water rocket event, Colloquium on Astronomy from ISS Kibo, SAFE workshop, Kibo-ABC workshop, Poster Contest, and APRSAF-19 exhibition.

At the plenary session on Day 3, on December 13, opening remarks were made by the general co-chairs, Dr. Mustafa Din Subari, Director General, ANGKASA, Malaysia and Dr. Satoru Otake, Deputy Director General, Research and Development Bureau, MEXT, Japan, and Keynote addresses were delivered by Mr. Yoshinari Akeno, Deputy Director-General, Office of National Space Policy, Cabinet Office, Japan and Prof. Datin Paduka Dr. Khatijah Bt. Mohd. Yusoff, Deputy Secretary General (Science), MOSTI, Malaysia. In the afternoon, a special session entitled "Enriching the quality of life through innovative space programs" was held with the participation as speakers of representatives of space agencies, such as ISRO/India, LAPAN/Indonesia, JAXA/Japan, KAZCOSMOS/Kazakhstan, GISTDA/Thailand and VAST/Vietnam. The session was chaired by Dr. Mustafai, Director General, ANGKASA.


It was announced at the last plenary session, on December 14, that the next session, APRSAF-20, would be hosted by the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) and would take place in Hanoi, Vietnam.

June 6, 2012 Updated

Dr. Yasushi Horikawa, JAXA's Technical Counselor, appointed as the Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) would like to announce that on June 6th, on the outset of the fifty-fifth session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), Dr. Yasushi Horikawa, JAXA's Technical Counselor, became its first Japanese Chair. He will chair the 55th and 56th sessions of COPUOS.

COPUOS was established as a permanent Committee of the United Nations in 1959, to review the scope of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, to devise programmes in this field to be undertaken under United Nations auspices, to encourage continued research and development and the dissemination of information on outer space matters, and to study legal problems arising from the exploration of outer space. There are two Subcommittees of COPUOS, namely the Science and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee, and each of these bodies meets. once a year in Vienna. Consisting of 71 members, COPUOS has been working in the recent years, on developing guidelines for ensuring the long-term sustainability of outer space activities.
Please refer to the links below for more information.
As space activities have become increasingly diversified and dynamic in many countries, involving the participation from the private sector, COPUOS is expected to play an increasingly important role in promoting international cooperation in space science and technology areas, as well as legal areas.

Dr. Horikawa's assumption of the chairmanship of UN COPUOS is considered as part of Japanese contributions to the UN, by making its experts available to support the work of the UN in space activities, and it reflects JAXA's readiness to actively participate in and contribute to the work of COPUOS.

[Reference]
Brief Bio of Dr. Yasushi Horikawa:
Dr. Horikawa joined the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) in 1973. He was engaged in the development of both Geostationary meteorological and Earth observation satellites, as well as leading planning and international coordination duties. He was also engaged in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) development project for International Space Station from 1987. He has been a Technical Counselor for JAXA since 2009 after acting as a project manager for the JEM development project as well as for the Japanese International Space Station project. Most recently he has assumed a position of Executive Director of JAXA.

December 26, 2011 Updated

JAXA held 18th APRSAF

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The eighteenth session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-18), under the main theme entitled "A regional collaboration for tomorrow's environment", successfully concluded its 4-day program on Friday, December 9, 2011, at Marina Mandarin Singapore. APRSAF-18 was jointly organized by the Singapore Space and Technology Association (SSTA), the Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing, National University of Singapore (CRISP), the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (MEXT), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Approximately 280 participants from 28 countries and region and 11 international organizations attended the session.

APRSAF-18, as was the case in the past, consisted of four working group (Earth Observation WG, Communication Satellite Applications WG, Space Education and Awareness WG, and Space Environment Utilization WG) sessions that were held in parallel and the plenary. There were also relevant events in conjunction with APRSAF-18 such as the water rocket event, SAFE workshop, poster contest, and the special astronaut event entitled "Asians in Space: Achievements of Human Spaceflight in Asian Countries".

At the plenary session on Day3, on 8 December, opening remarks were made by Mr. Joseph Hui, Deputy Chief Executive, Technology & Corporate Development, National Environment Agency, Singapore, and keynote addresses were delivered by the representatives of the countries that co-organized APRSAF-18, namely, Dr. Tetsuhiko Ikegami, Chairman, Space Activities Commission (SAC), the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan and Mr. Tan Choo Shian, Deputy Managing Director, Economic Development Board (EDB), Singapore.

At a country report session, Dr. Keiji Tachikawa, President, JAXA made a presentation and introduced Japan's climate change studies and adaptations. He also spoke about the utilization of KIBO (Japanese experimental module for International Space Station) and QZSS-1 (Quazi-Zenith Satellite System).

It was announced at the last plenary session, on 9 December, that the next Session, APRSAF-19, would be hosted by ANGKASA (Malaysia) and take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from December 11 to 14, 2012.

October 28, 2011 Updated

62nd International Astronautical Congress

The 62nd International Astronautical Congress (IAC) was held for five days between October 3 and 7, in Cape Town, South Africa. The IAC is annuallly held in autumn cosponsored by International Astronautical Federation (IAF), International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), and International Instutite of Science of Space Law (IISL). It is the world's largest space-related conference both nominally and practically attended by the agency heads and senior exectives of the world's space agencies along with industry and academics. It is a first IAC held in the African continent under the theme of "African Astronaissance", and about 3,000 space-related people from all over the world participated in the event.
At the Heads of Agency Plenary session on the first day of the congress, Dr. Tachikawa, President of JAXA, Dr. Dordain, Director General of European Space Agency (ESA), Mr. Bolden, Administrator of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Mr. Popovkin, Head of Russian Federal Space Agency (FSA), and Dr. Navalgund, Director of Space Applications Centre of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) explained each organisation's overview on current and future programs, followed by active discussions coordinated by the moderator. Each heads of agencies presented the view that international cooperation is essential to advance space activities. JAXA also set up the exhibition booth and made public relations activities for about 1,400 visitors introducing the development of space technologies and space related companies. JAXA participated in the Head of Agency Q&A Session with students organized as a part of activities of International Space Education Board (ISEB). In addition, JAXA introduced the overview of its space development in the seminar jointly held by the Embassy of Japan in South Africa and the Ministry of Science and Technology of South Africa. This event contributed to deepen the knowledge on space development of both countries.

May 2, 2011 Updated

Workshop on GIS and Space Technology for Sustainable Development of Asia


The Workshop on GIS and Space Technology for Sustainable Development of Asia was held in Manila, Philippines, between February 21 and 22, 2011.
The Workshop aimed to help countries to share knowledge on appropriate geographical information system (GIS) and space technologies for their various development sectors by identifying users' problems in each country, match-make between demand and supply of available technologies, and create a national roadmap for their use and development towards sustainable development. Its focus sectors include disaster management, survey, urban development, agriculture, environment, forest, transport and infrastructure.
Thoughts and cases on GIS and space technology were presented to brainstorm on new ideas for utilization, research, and development. Technical, legal, administrative and standardizing barriers in developing and introducing the space-technology-based system were discussed and ways to increase national support to GIS and space technologies were explored.
A chair’s summary was produced to encourage and help all users and developers of the technologies in pursuing actions in their home countries. Participants' input on specific requirement of technologies, (e.g. accuracy of satellite data,) will be reflected in satellite development program of space agencies, e.g. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Results of the workshop should lead to project formulation by ADB and other bilateral and multilateral financing institutions in partnership with countries in the region.

December 7, 2010 Updated

JAXA held 17th APRSAF

JAXA co-hosted the seventeenth session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-17) in Melbourne, Australia, between November 23 and 26, 2010. Approximately 230 delegates from 23 countries and region and 11 international organizations were in attendance. The following are the major achievements of APRSAF-17.

  1. Disaster Management Support System in the Asia-Pacific Region (Sentinel-Asia Project)
    We confirmed a smooth operation including: the increase of available satellites through the new STEP-2 system; coordination of the data analysis system; improvement of data transmission thanks to setting a ground station of the Wideband InterNetworking engineering test and Demonstration Satellite "KIZUNA" (WINDS); and the start of cooperation with the International Disaster Charter.
  2. Space Applications for Environment (SAFE)
    It was reported that eight verification and research initiatives (prototypings) are in progress including four new initiatives (prototypings,) namely fishery forecasts in Sri Lanka, water resource management in Pakistan, fishing ground management in Thailand and mangrove monitoring in Vietnam.
  3. Cooperation for coping with climate change in the Asia-Pacific region
    The theme this time was "the role of space technology and industry in addressing climate change," and a panel discussion was held focusing on climate change. During the discussion, the following were reported: an activity report on the Global Climate Observation System (GCOS); prioritized challenges including water, forest, urban and transportation issues by the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations; report of a forest carbon accounting system from Indonesia; and introduction of JAXA's activities for climate change observations and examples of satellite data applications. As a result, we reconfirmed the importance of continuing observations and information exchange, collaboration of space and ground technologies, and the APRSAF's role for coordination. In addition, Australia proposed a new initiative called the "Climate Change Regional Readiness Review for key climate missions (Climate R3)" through which the needs of climate change information in the Asia-Pacific region can be grasped. With this initiative, Australia will cooperate with organizations that share the same interests to study the scope of research and implementation method, engage in pilot phase activities for a year, and report its achievements at the next annual meeting.
  4. Development of talent in the Asia-Pacific region
    We listened to a report about a new enterprise called "UNIFORM" (University International Formation Mission, micro satellite research and development by the alliance of Japanese universities) proposed by the Ministry of Education Culture Sports Science and Technology of Japan. Within the framework of the APRSAF, the Satellite Technology for the Asia-Pacific Region (STAR) program began in June 2009 for member countries to cooperate in satellite development in order to nurture talents in the region. We recognized that STAR program participants would join UNIFORM's OJT to realize micro-satellites early.
  5. Application promotion of the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" of the International Space Station in the Asia-Pacific region
    To optimize use of the Kibo in the region, JAXA introduced activities using Kibo and HTV (a cargo transporter to the ISS) including a plant seed shipment/retrieval mission, proposal and promotion of Kibo/HTV collaborative use, and implementation of some educational programs at the ISS. JAXA called for active participation of member countries and region in such JAXA projects.
  6. Facilitating the use of the quasi-zenith satellite in the Asia-Pacific region
    JAXA launched the first quasi-zenith satellite "MICHIBIKI" in September 2010. The Asia-Pacific region is ahead of other regions in realizing an environment where the positioning system using a multiple number of satellites can become available. Along with the APRSAF-17, the second Asia Oceania Regional Workshop on GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) was held at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology on November 21 and 22. At the workshop, a new framework was established for a feasibility study on the use and joint research of the positioning system with multiple satellites including cooperative study for the use of the MICHIBIKI. Participants in the workshop were asked to join the multi-GNSS verification campaign.
  7. Further space education promotion
    We had a meaningful discussion on various issues including the further promotion and sharing of educational material development, next-step activities such as a sophisticated plastic rocket launch competition, and practical application of external funds. Also, it was reported that Bangladesh would hold a space education seminar, and Thailand was also scheduled to have a satellite data educational workshop in 2011. As side events, we held a water rocket competition and a poster contest, and successfully stirred interest in space education among youths.

November 22, 2010 Updated

APRSAF-17 is being held in Australia from Nov. 23 to 26

The 17th Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-17) has been held in Melbourne, Australia, between November 23 and 26. The APRSAF is the largest space-related conference in the Asia-Pacific region. The APRSAF-17 this time is co-hosted with Japan (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and JAXA) and Australia (Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research) .
As of November 18, some 290 participants from 27 countries and region and 7 international organizations mainly in the Asia-Pacific region have already registered for participation.
During the conference, we are expecting significant discussions under the theme of "The role of space technology and industry in addressing climate change". Space agencies, governmental bodies, and international organizations as well as companies, universities and research institutes take part in APRSAF. In addition to the plenary session, APRSAF organizes four working groups: Earth Observation (EO), Communication Satellite Applications (CSA), Space Environment Utilization (SEU), and Space Education and Awareness (SEA).
Also, at the plenary session, we will hear some reports of achievements about on-going initiatives such as the Sentinel Asia.
For more information about the APRSAF-17, please check the following site.

November 8, 2010 Updated

JAXA and INPE Signing Letter of Intention in cooperation for REDD+ using DAICHI

JAXA and the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciai (INPE), a Brazilian national space research institute, signed a Letter of Intention (LOI) to cooperate in the program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+) using the JAXA's Advanced Land Observing Satellite "DAICHI."
JAXA will verify the effectiveness of observations by the DAICHI's synthetic aperture radar to measure tropical forestry in cooperation with INPE in order to contribute to the cooperative action plan agreed at the Ministerial Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity last month. The plan is designed mainly to provide more support to developing countries in parallel with the REDD+.
JAXA and IPEN will compare JAXA's high resolution image data acquired by the DAICHI synthetic aperture radar and INPE's local observation data to verify the accuracy.

October 18, 2010 Updated

Agreement on wetland survey by DAICHI with Ramsar Convention Secretariat

On October 18, JAXA and the Ramsar Convention Secretariat participated in the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity entitled "The role of the Ramsar Convention in the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity," and agreed to cooperate in a global survey of the Wetlands of International Importance through the use of the Advanced Land Observing Satellite "DAICHI." We have since signed the cooperation agreement.
Although wetlands are extremely important for flora and fauna, many wetlands are under the threat of disappearance in the world. Data from the DAICHI can contribute to the appropriate maintenance of those wetlands all over the world as it can continuously monitor flora and fauna.
After signing the agreement, images captured by the DAICHI will be published as a database to be useful for evaluating and maintaining wetlands as well as for compiling a wetland list.

September 30, 2010 Updated

Inter-agency Cooperation Agreement with Italian, Norwegian, and French Space Agencies

JAXA signed an inter-agency cooperation agreement with the Italian space agency, Agency Spaziale Italiana (ASI), the Norwegian Space Center (NSC) and the French space agency, Centre National d'Etudes Spatial (CNES), respectively.

1. Agency Spaziale Italiana (ASI): Agreement outline
  • After the joint statement by both Presidents in 2004 to promote cooperative relations, cooperation activities have been specified. Accordingly, the agreement this time is for clarifying the framework and implementation conditions concerning space development and utilization activities for peaceful purposes.
  • Both organizations will study possible cooperation in space and astronautic science, earth observations, space transportation, the International Space Station and space environment utilization, and training and education.
  • Both organizations will hold an inter-agency meeting annually.
  • Both organizations determined the applicable general conditions for implementing a specific cooperative activity (including conditions concerning intellectual property rights, transfer of goods and technical data, and cross-waiver of liability).

2. Norwegian Space Center (NSC): Agreement outline
  • Both organizations will identify potential cooperative areas and coordination procedures for promoting space cooperation for peaceful purposes.
  • Both organizations will study possible cooperation mainly in space science including sounding rocket activities, earth observations and utilization, space transportation, ground station operations, satellite communications, research and development, and other areas of mutual interests.
  • Both organizations will exchange information through contact points, and jointly carry out feasibility studies if any promising projects are specified.

3. Centre National d'Etudes Spatial (CNES): Agreement outline
  • After the signing of "Inter-Agency Arrangement between CNES and NASDA* concerning the preparation of long-term cooperation in the field of space programs" in 1996, cooperative activities have been specified. Accordingly, the agreement this time is for clarifying the framework and terms of conditions concerning space development and utilization activities for peaceful purposes. (*current JAXA)
  • Both organizations will study possible cooperation mainly in space transportation, International Space Station utilization, earth observations and monitoring, space science and exploration of the universe, space research and technology, and ground network operations.
  • Both organizations will hold an inter-agency meeting annually.
  • Both organizations determined the applicable general conditions for implementing specific cooperative activities (including conditions concerning intellectual property rights, transfer of goods and technical data, and cross-waiver of liability).


July 21, 2010 Updated

Signing a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Asia Development Bank (ADB)

The JAXA and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) agreed to cooperate in promoting the application of satellite technology to disaster management, climate change mitigation and adaptation, forest monitoring, and water resource management.
Based on this LOI, ADB will cooperate in providing technical assistance to ADB supported projects using satellite data and will work on capacity development on the use of satellite data through the training of persons from national institutions in Asia and the Pacific region. In addition, ADB will share cooperative achievements through workshops with JAXA, and study the possibility of accepting experts from JAXA.

May 26, 2010 Updated

Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Nhan visits TKSC

On May 19, Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan visited and toured around the Tsukuba Space Center (TKSC.)
President Tachikawa of JAXA showed him the life-size models of Kibo, the Japanese Experiment Module of the International Space Station, and satellites, as well as training facilities for astronauts. The deputy prime minister also keenly listened to explanations presented by representatives of each project.
JAXA and Vietnam’s space agency hold a cooperative agreement, and are working together on small satellite technology.

April 13, 2010 Updated

Memorandum of Understanding between The Netherlands Space Office and JAXA

JAXA is pleased to announce that President Keiji Tachikawa of JAXA and Dr. Ger Nieuwpoort, the Director of The Netherlands Space Office (NSO), concluded a Memorandum of understanding between JAXA and NSO for cooperation in space for peaceful purposes at the Netherlands Embassy in Japan on April 12, 2010. With this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the two organizations will identify potential areas for mutual cooperation to promote our collaborative efforts.
With regard to cooperative relations with the Netherlands, JAXA and the Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON) concluded a cooperation agreement in the field of space science including the X-ray Astronomy Satellite "ASTRO-H," for which collaborative areas have been specified. This cooperation in the space science field continues to be promoted under the MOU concluded at this time.

February 17, 2010 Updated

JAXA held 16th APRSAF


JAXA cosponsored the 16th Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-16) in Bangkok, Thailand, between January 26 and 29, 2010. APRSAF-16 saw a gathering of 310 participants from 27 countries and region and 10 international organizations. The following are the major achievements of the forum.

  1. Enhancing our efforts to understand and manage the real status of disaster-stricken areas using satellites (Sentinel Asia Project)
    We will further promote work to build and begin operating a cooperative system between the Sentinel Asia Project and the International Disaster Charter. We decided to newly set up a working group on the Glacial Lake Outburst Flood Monitoring.

  2. Starting projects to tackle environmental problems using satellites (SAFE Program)
    Under this framework, we confirmed that we would work on six issues including two newly added projects namely in Indonesia (observing a potential drought) and Sri Lanka (risk of sea-level rise along coastal areas) .

  3. Improving a human resource development project such as fostering more skilled satellite engineers (STAR Program)
    This program started on a full scale in April 2009, and, at the APRSAF-16, it was reported that JAXA Sagamihara Campus has been accepting engineers dispatched from member organizations since June 2009.

  4. Expanding the applicable area of the Space Environment Utilization
    We decided to further promote the use of the space environment aiming at activating cooperation using the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo".

  5. Expanding the applicable area of the utilization of the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)
    We held a workshop on the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) including the utilization methods of the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) in Bangkok between January 25 and 26, 2010. Based on our discussion results, we decided to strive for a new initiative for the use of multiple navigation satellites including utilization of the QZSS in the next APRSAF.

  6. Promoting Space Education Awareness
    Concerning space education, we decided to enhance the new efforts including activating educational outreach activities and strengthening collaborative initiatives with international organizations for further development and activation.

The next session, APRSAF-17 will be held in Australia in late November 2010.

The results of APRSAF-16 including the Recommendations adopted by all the participants are now posted here.

February 16, 2010 Updated

Signing an agreement with Kazcosmos for the future cooperation

On January 27, 2010, President Tachikawa of JAXA and Chairman Musabayaev of the National Space Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Kazcosmos) signed an agreement "Establishment of Cooperation in the Field of Space Activities for Peaceful Purposes" for the future cooperation between the two agencies in Bangkok, Thailand. We will proceed to the future cooperation in four specific areas namely space science, earth observation, satellite communication, and global satellite navigation.

January 21, 2010 Updated

The 16th APRSAF to be held in Bangkok

Japan (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and JAXA) and Thailand (Ministry of Science and Technology and Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, GISTDA) will jointly hold the 16th Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-16) between January 26 and 29 in Bangkok, Thailand. This international forum is the largest of its kind for space agencies in the Asia-Pacific region.
Currently, we expect some 320 participants from 79 agencies in 29 countries and seven international organizations mainly from the Asia-Pacific Region.
At the forum all sorts of space development agencies and organizations who utilize space will get together from the region to actively discuss issues under the theme, “Space Applications: Contributions towards Human Safety and Security.” The forum will consist of a plenary session and four working groups (Earth Observation, Communication Satellite Applications, Space Environment Utilization, and Space Education and Awareness working groups.)
At the forum, the following issues are scheduled to be discussed in addition to the space utilization and space development status of each country:
  1. the Sentinel Asia Project, a watchman for Asia to manage and control disaster prevention using earth surface images taken by satellites,
  2. the SAFE (Space Applications for Environment) project, which also uses earth surface images for better land use plans to cope with environmental changes, and
  3. the STAR (Satellite Technology for the Asia-Pacific Region) project, the human resource development program for satellite development.

November 10, 2009 Updated

Lecture & Panel Discussion Featuring New NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will hold a lecture and panel discussion, "NASA-JAXA Cooperation: Into the Future," from 10:00 a.m. on November 17 (Tuesday) at Takeda Hall, University of Tokyo.

Newly-appointed NASA Administrator and former astronaut Charles F. Bolden will discuss U.S. space policy, NASA’s newest projects, and future plans. JAXA President Keiji Tachikawa, JAXA Astronaut Chiaki Mukai, and Professor Shinichi Nakasuka of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the School of Engineering, Graduate School of the University of Tokyo, will also join discussion on future directions for this important partnership.

October 28, 2009 Updated

60th International Astronautical Congress
JAXA booth received the "2009 BEST EXHIBITOR" award

The 60th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) was held for five days between October 12 and 16, 2009, at the Daejeon Convention Centre in Daejeon, which is known as a science and technology city in South Korea. The IAC is the world's largest space-related conference both nominally and practically. South Korea became the fourth Asian country to host this big event following Japan, India, and China. Under this year's theme of "Space for Sustainable Peace and Progress," about 2,200 space-related people participated in the event. At the opening ceremony, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak gave a speech to show his country's strong determination to actively engage in space development for peaceful purposes by further promoting mutual cooperation between countries in the area of space. At the Heads of Agency Plenary session on the first day of the congress, the heads of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Canadian Space Agency (CAS), European Space Agency (ESA), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Russian Federal Space Agency (FSA), Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and JAXA explained each organization's overview on current and future programs, followed by active discussions coordinated by the moderator mainly on measures for climate change issues and moon exploration. JAXA participated in not only the Heads of Agency Plenary session, but also played an important role as a panelist and a moderator in other sessions and academic sessions and held discussions with space-related people from other countries. In the area of space education, JAXA was actively involved in holding educational events, dispatching 41 Japanese students to the IAC, and supporting participation in the 18th Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition from the Asia-Pacific Region. Some 1,800 people visited the JAXA exhibition booth during the five days, and we received the "2009 BEST EXHIBITOR" award.

JAXA President Tachikawa at the Heads of Agency Plenary session.


The JAXA booth at the Space Exhibition.

August 24, 2009 Updated

JAXA and DLR initiated R&D Cooperation in Satellite Disaster Monitoring

On the occasion of JAXA-DLR Strategy Dialogue in Tokyo, Dr. Keiji Tachikawa, President of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and Prof. Dr. –Ing. Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Chairman of the Executive Board of German Aerospace Center (DLR), signed today Letter of Intent (LOI) concerning Mutual cooperation for Satellite disaster monitoring

In this LOI, both parties acknowledged the necessity to promote satellite application, especially Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites, as well as related applied research, and to pursue such activities in an international manner.

In addition, both parties confirmed the mutual intention of the following R&D cooperation, using on-orbit SAR satellites, ALOS and TerraSAR-X.

June 11, 2009 Updated

Two former JAXA executive directors receive a letter of appreciation from NASA

On June 4, 2009, Mr. Yasushi Horikawa (former JAXA executive director in charge of satellites) and Mr. Kiyo Higuchi (former JAXA executive director in charge of international cooperation and planet probe missions) received a letter of appreciation from NASA at the Embassy of the United States for their great contributions to cooperative relations between JAXA and NASA. They received the letters from Mr. James P. Zumwalt, Charge d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy, on behalf of the NASA international administrator.


Photo: at the U.S. Embassy, left: Mr. Horikawa, center: Mr. Zumwalt, right: Mr. Higuchi

* Mr. Horikawa and Mr. Higuchi had been involved in the International Space Station (ISS) project since the 1980s, and greatly contributed to the development of the ISS Japanese Experiment Module and cooperative development of the ISS with the U.S. After leaving the ISS project, Mr. Horikawa became a JAXA executive director in charge of satellite development and utilization, and made remarkable contributions to global scale environmental issues in corporation with NASA through the development and utilization of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM,) which was a JAXA-NASA collaborative mission. Mr. Higuchi became a JAXA executive director in change of planet probe missions after leaving the ISS project, and made numerous significant achievements that have been highly evaluated internationally including the development and operation of the lunar explorer "KAGUYA."

The letters of appreciations are proof that JAXA's and Japan's technology levels and earnest commitments are recognized through various Japan-U.S. cooperation fields in the area of the International Space Station project and other satellite utilization projects.

December 24, 2008 Updated

APRSAF-15 held in Vietnam


The 15th Session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-15) was held in Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, between December 9 and 12, 2008.
The following were the major issues discussed at the forum.

1. We confirmed the smooth progress of the "Sentinel Asia," which is a project to utilize images acquired by satellites for disaster measures through data provided by the South Korean and Thai space agencies in addition to JAXA and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO.)

2. The STAR (Satellite Technology for the Asia-Pacific Region) program was established, and research and development on a satellite will be started collaboratively at the JAXA Sagamihara Campus in April 2009 by APRSAF participating countries.

3. The SAFE (Satellite Application for Environment) project for monitoring environmental changes by earth observation satellites including the JAXA "DAICHI" satellite was also established.


The APRSAF-16 next year will be held in Thailand.

December 5, 2008 Updated

The 15th Session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-15)

The 15th Session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-15) will be held in Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, between December 9-12, 2008.
The forum is one of the largest space related international conferences in the Asia Pacific region.
The forum this year is co-sponsored by Japan (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and JAXA,) and Vietnam (Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) and the Space Technology Institute (STI). Over 200 people from 65 organizations in 22 countries and six international institutions will participate (as of Dec. 4.)

In the general sessions, various issues will be discussed for cooperation in the promotion of space utilization and how to solve its challenges in the Asia Pacific region based on the forum's theme, "Space for Sustainable Development." More specifically, discussions are scheduled on the Space Application for Environment (SAFE) project, which is an environment monitoring system using earth observation satellites, the APRSAF satellite Project, a collaborative satellite development project by APRSAF participating countries, and the expansion of the use of the Sentinel Asia Project for utilizing satellite data for disaster monitoring in Asian countries.

Many splinter meetings are also scheduled for space education, space environment utilization, communication technology using satellites, and earth observations. Many space specialists from Asian countries will get together at the APRSAF.

November 27, 2008 Updated

JAXA participated in the 59th IAC

The 59th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2008 was held in Glasgow, Scotland, for five days between September 29 (Mon.) and October 3 (Fri.) 2008.
The IAC is held every autumn and is cosponsored by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF,) the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA.) It is the world's largest space conference both nominally and actually as its participants are from various global space related organizations, companies, universities and other institutions.
This year's theme was "From Imagination to Reality," and over 3,000 people attended from all over the world.
During the IAC general session on the first day, activities and plans for the future of each organization were explained, then a question and answer session followed, with the participation of the heads or acting heads of major organizations including President Tachikawa of JAXA, Director General Dordain of the European Space Agency (ESA,) Administrator Griffin of NASA, President MacLean of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA,) Deputy Head Medvedchikov of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Administrator Sun of the China National Space Administration (CNSA,) and Suresh Deputy Chair of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO.)
President Tachikawa of JAXA explained JAXA's activities over the past year and future plans, and lectured under the theme of "the next expected big step in the space field."


President Tachikawa making a speech with the image taken by KAGUYA at the preliminary session


JAXA booth at the IAC exhibition area

August 1, 2008 Updated

JAXA joined the ISS Heads of Agency (HOA) meeting

In July 2008, a meeting of the Heads of Agency (HOA) was held for the International Space Station project in Paris, France.


From left to right: Guy Bujold, Canadian Space Agency president;
Jean-Jacques Dordain, European Space Agency director-general;
Anatolii N. Perminov, Russian Federal Space Agency head;
and Keiji Tachikawa, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency president. Credit: ESA.

At this meeting, the heads of each space agency from Japan , the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Russia got together to discuss the development, operations, and other issues concerning the ISS. As all the major modules from the respective space agencies had arrived at the ISS by the second launch of the Kibo in June, the participants at the HOA this time celebrated the development of the ISS so far, and talked about the possibility of operating the ISS after 2015.

June 19, 2008 Updated

26th ISTS in Hamamatsu, Japan

The 26th International Symposium on Space Technology and Science (ISTS) took place on July 1 through 8, 2008 in Hamamatsu, Japan. ISTS is the biggest international conference in Japan in the area of space technology and science, and has been held basically biennially since 1959. It aims to provide specialists in space engineering, space science, space medicine and space law with a forum to exchange information through presentations and discussions, and to promote space related activities. This year, 852 participants from 26 countries attended ISTS, and around 700 papers were submitted. These figures are the highest in the ISTS history.

At the "Space Agencies Session: National Space Programs" on the first day of the 26th ISTS, Vice President Kaoru Mamiya of JAXA as well as representatives of other space agencies in Asia such as the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), Thailand's Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) and Malaysian National Space Agency (ANGKASA) gave presentations on their respective space activities, along with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and European Space Agency (ESA). The strong presence of Asian space agencies made this session truly suitable for an international conference held in Japan. Mr. Mamiya elaborated JAXA’s Second Mid-term Plan which is a comprehensive plan of JAXA's space activities in the next 5 years.


Presentation by JAXA Vice President Mamiya at "National Space Program"


JAXA Booth at "International Space Exhibition"

The "International Space Exhibition" was also held in conjunction with the 26th ISTS. JAXA showed examples of space businesses in Japan, a full-scale model of the Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT), and a high-vision movie of the moon and earth taken by the SELenological and ENgineering Explorer (SELENE), "KAGUYA." There were also exhibits displayed by 14 aerospace-related companies and 28 local companies, and 13,706 people in total visited and looked at these exhibits with interest.

The 27th ISTS which commemorates ISTS's 50th anniversary will be held as a special "Golden Jubilee Symposium" in Tsukuba, Japan in June 2009. JAXA plans to continue its support for international activities relating to space such as ISTS.

October 7, 2007 Updated

JAXA Booth Wins Best Design Award - The 58th International Space Expo -

The 58th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) was held between September 24 and 28, 2007 at Hyderabad, India.
JAXA had a booth at the "International Space Expo," which was also held as part of the IAC. About 3,500 visitors dropped by the booth where we displayed explanatory panels as well as models of the "KAGUYA," which was launched on September 14, the "WINDS," the "Kibo," and the "HTV," which are scheduled to be launched in the future.
Exhibition booths were evaluated by the organization committee, and the JAXA booth received the Best Design Award.


Award Ceremony

Award receiving JAXA booth

Visitors keenly look at the exhibition.


July 9, 2005 Updated

Former JAXA President Shuichiro Yamanouchi received the NASA medal

On July 5, Former JAXA President Shuichiro Yamanouchi was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal.

This medal is the highest award among those granted at the 15 NASA agencies and organizations. It is awarded to an individual who made great contributions to NASA missions. NASA decided to give the medal to Mr. Yamanouchi for his exceptional efforts and significant achievements to strengthen relations in space development between Japan and the United States, including the International Space Station Project, while serving as president of NASDA from 2001 and JAXA from 2003.

NASA decided to give the medal to Mr. Yamanouchi for his exceptional efforts and significant achievements to strengthen relations in space development between Japan and the United States, including the International Space Station Project.

Mr. Yamanouchi is the first receiver of the NASA medal in Japan. President Bensoussan of the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES, France) and Director-General Rododa of the European Space Agency (ESA) also received the medal in 2001 and 2002 respectively.


Photos: At the medal award ceremony at the American Embassy on July 5