Hosted by NASA’s administrator Bill Nelson, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Hayashi Yoshimasa signed the agreement dubbed the “Framework Agreement Between the Government of Japan and the Government of the United States of America for Cooperation in Space Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, For Peaceful Purposes”.
According to NASA, the agreement acknowledges both nations’ mutual interest in peaceful space exploration and will also cover space science, aeronautical technology and mission assurance.
Also in attendance at the ceremony was US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel, Japanese Ambassador to the US Tomita Joki and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) president Yamakawa Hiroshi.
“The future of space is collaborative,” Secretary Blinken said.
“Through this agreement, our nations have strengthened our partnership in space and here on Earth. We will go farther and learn even more together.”
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida outlined that the agreement would strengthen US-Japanese cooperation.
“I expect this agreement to vigorously promote Japan-US space cooperation and expand areas of cooperation for the Japan-US alliance, which is stronger than ever before,” said Prime Minister Kishida.
The framework agreement follows an earlier agreement between Japan and the US to deepen their space ties.
In November, NASA announced Japan’s participation in Gateway as part of long-term lunar exploration partnership. As one of NASA’s primary components of the Artemis program, the Gateway space station will operate as a hub to return humankind to the moon.
As part of the Gateway Implementing Arrangement, NASA has provided JAXA with the opportunity to support the space station with a crewmember.
“The alliance between Japan and the United States is a cornerstone of peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and around the globe,” US Vice President Kamala Harris said.
“Space cooperation is a critical component of our alliance. While I was in Tokyo in September, Prime Minister Kishida and I discussed our mutual interest in strengthening our cooperation in outer space across commercial, civil, and security sectors. And today, building off that and many other discussions between our governments, we are delivering results.”
Receive the latest developments and updates on Australia’s space industry direct to your inbox. Subscribe today to Space Connect here.