UAE, Japan discuss closer cooperation in space industry


Dubai, UAE: The UAE Space Agency has held high-level talks with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to discuss progress enjoyed by both parties since they signed a cooperation agreement in 2016.

Her Excellency Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, UAE Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency, welcomed a Japanese delegation led by JAXA President Dr. Hiroshi Yamakawa.

The meeting took place at the 72nd International Astronautical Congress In Duabi. It provided an opportunity for both agencies to build on their extensive partnership, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding more than four years ago.

The UAE and Japan have deep cultural, diplomatic and economic ties which have led to closer cooperation in the field of space. Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata is a member of the UAE’s Space Agency’s advisory committee, while the Emirates Mars Mission Hope Probe was successfully launched on a Mitsubishi H-IIA rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan on 19 July 2020.

Her Excellency Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency, said: “The 72nd IAC in Dubai serves as a vital platform to galvanize international cooperation in space exploration, scientific progress and technological innovation. It is in this spirt of global collaboration that we met with Dr. Hiroshi Yamakawa and his team at JAXA to lay the foundations for an even stronger partnership that promotes economic growth and human progress. Japan has been a consistent and considerable partner in our efforts to explore new frontiers and we believe there is a great deal more we can accomplish together.”

For his part, Dr. Hiroshi Yamakawa praised the extensive cooperation between the UAE Space Agency and JAZA, which includes the launch of the KhalifaSat satellite onboard a Japanese-made Mitsubishi Heavy Industries rocket. The two sides have also deepened research through the Japanese Kibo Laboratory with Emirati students taking part in the Kibo robot programming challenge.

He praised the UAE’s continued achievements in the field of spatial research and interplanetary exploration. Since the UAE Space Agency was established 2014, it has developed a competitive space program at an accelerated pace and launched numerous satellites and put the first Emirati astronaut into space. Dr. Hiroshi Yamakawa also stressed the desire of the Japanese government to enhance space cooperation with the UAE by ensuring Japanese astronauts work more closely with Emirati astronauts in the future.