This first meeting of the France-Japan space dialogue was attended by a large delegation of senior representatives from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Office of National Space Policy, the National Security Secretariat, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology, the Ministry of the Economy, Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Defence and JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. They met with their French counterparts from the General Secretariat of Defence and National Security, the Joint Staff of the French Armed Forces, the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) and CNES, which also represented the Ministry of Higher Education and Research.
This new France-Japan space dialogue was put in place in 2015 after an official visit to Japan by representatives of the French Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During this visit, Japan proposed closer bilateral relations between the two countries through a space dialogue.
At the meeting, CNES and JAXA representatives presented their respective space policies. They then reviewed French-Japanese cooperation in space, which was strengthened in October last year when a new agreement was signed at a ceremony attended by the French and Japanese Prime Ministers. The main aim of this agreement is to promote and organize joint actions in the peaceful use of outer space, enable exchanges of personnel with a view to forging closer ties between the two agencies and establish the terms and conditions of a framework conducive to cooperation. Lastly, they reviewed the contribution of space to the COP21 conference in Paris in December last year, which resulted in a decisive agreement on climate change, and the topic of industrial cooperation between the two countries.
CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “I’m honoured to be part of the French delegation at this first France-Japan space dialogue. Japan has been one of France’s key partners in space for several decades. The agreements between our two countries have always resulted in projects where we’ve innovated together. And I’ve no doubt that this new high-level initiative will be successful in terms of innovation and new opportunities ahead.”