October 28, 2013

French-Japanese space cooperation - CNES and JAXA hold annual meeting

For the annual meeting between CNES and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall met the key figures behind Japan’s space programme—Naoki Okumura, President of JAXA, Masao Sakauchi, President of NICT (National Institute of Information and Communication Technologies), and Junya Nishimoto, Director of the Space Strategy Office—on Monday 28 October in Tokyo.

The 2013-2018 roadmap released on the occasion of the state visit to Japan of French President François Hollande in June encourages space cooperation between France and Japan.

It is within this framework that CNES and JAXA are working together on research, technology and long-term planning for launchers, telecommunications and Earth-observation satellites, space components, space debris mitigation, astronomy and astrophysics. Discussions are focusing on four technology themes geared towards improving satellite performance and interplanetary mission trajectories. These efforts are governed by a framework agreement and being led by several joint working groups who report on their progress at yearly meetings like the one currently being held in Tokyo.

CNES has also signed a framework agreement with NICT on space telecommunications.

In addition to these agreements, CNES is funding several instruments for BepiColombo, a joint mission to Mercury by Japan and the European Space Agency (ESA). CNES is also involved in science operations on the International Space Station, where Japan is a key partner.

After these meetings, Jean-Yves Le Gall stated: “I am pleased to report that this annual meeting and talks with our Japanese partners were very successful. I am impressed by the progress our working groups have achieved and by our Japanese partners’ commitment to our cooperation efforts. We are doing great work together in many areas and I am very keen for us to pursue these efforts for the benefit of both our nations and the international space community.”

CNES press contacts

Alain Delrieu Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 74 04 alain.delrieu@cnes.fr
Pascale Bresson Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39 pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Julien Watelet Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 78 37 julien.watelet@cnes.fr