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Joint Statement: The Fourth Meeting of the U.S.-Japan Comprehensive Dialogue on Space
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) May 19, 2017

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Pursuant to their shared goal of continuing to advance bilateral space cooperation and further strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance as declared by their leaders, the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Japan held their Fourth Meeting of the Comprehensive Dialogue on Space in Washington, DC, on May 16, 2017.

This Dialogue represents the strong and shared commitment of two of the world's most advanced spacefaring nations to enhance further bilateral space cooperation and to cooperate closely with the international community toward ensuring the continuous, safe, and stable use of outer space for current and future generations. The 11th U.S.-Japan GPS Cooperation Plenary Meeting and the 7th U.S.-Japan Civil Space Dialogue were also held prior to the Comprehensive Dialogue, to which the results of these two prior meetings were also reported.

This meeting was co-chaired by representatives from the Executive Office of the President's National Security Council and Office of Science and Technology Policy for the United States, and by representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the National Space Policy Secretariat, Cabinet Office for Japan. Principal participants included the Departments of State, Defense, Commerce, Interior, and Transportation; the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency; and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from the U.S. side, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; National Space Policy Secretariat; National Security Secretariat; Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center; National Ocean Policy Secretariat; Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology; Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry; Ministry of the Environment; Ministry of Defense; Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA); National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT); and National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) from the Japanese side.

This Fourth Comprehensive Dialogue on Space continues the work to enhance and strengthen cooperation between the two countries from a broad, inclusive, and strategic perspective. With the participation of experts from across the two governments, the Dialogue series emphasizes a whole-of-government approach to civil, commercial, and national security space interests and cooperation.

At the Fourth Dialogue, both sides provided updates on respective space policies, including recent development of Japanese legal systems such as regulations for remote sensing data treatment and satellite-launching system as well as on U.S. export controls that impact space technology and space systems.

Recognizing that their leaders affirmed their strong determination to further "expand bilateral security cooperation in the fields of space and cyberspace" in their Joint Statement in February 2017, both sides discussed space security cooperation, and shared the view that it is critically important to enhance the space domain mission assurance, including resiliency of their space systems through current and future cooperative projects.

Both sides also reaffirmed mutual interest in sharing information and experience in space situational awareness (SSA), specifically citing the multilateral Global Sentinel Exercise. Both sides confirmed that they will continue to explore opportunities for whole of government collaboration in order to build a foundation of experience regarding the use of space for Maritime Domain Awareness. Both sides confirmed the importance of space industry cooperation and agreed to discuss this issue in this Dialogue.

Both sides conducted discussions on further collaboration in space applications, including satellite navigation systems such as the U.S. Global Positioning System and Japan's Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) and Earth observation, as well as in space science. In this regard, both sides welcome the forthcoming International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems from December 2 to 7, 2017, in Kyoto.

Both sides reaffirmed the importance of the rule of law in outer space. They exchanged updates on ongoing activities in multilateral cooperation fora in which both nations participate, including the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) and the G7, and reiterated the importance of continued cooperative pursuit of transparency and confidence-building measures (TCBMs) to strengthen stability in space activities. Both sides also discussed the Asia-Pacific regional framework for confidence-building and capacity-building for developing countries in the field of space, recognizing the role of space application in the context of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Both sides welcomed the ongoing efforts under the December 22, 2015, Japan-U.S. Open Platform Partnership Program (JP-US OP3) relating to the International Space Station (ISS), and reaffirmed strategic and diplomatic significance of the ISS as well as future space exploration cooperation. Both sides are anticipating the upcoming Second International Space Exploration Forum on March 3, 2018, in Tokyo. Both sides discussed new space activities and opportunities for cooperation in space traffic management and space resources development.

Both sides reconfirmed the strategic value of the Comprehensive Dialogue on Space as a mechanism to guide overall bilateral space cooperation policies, and reaffirmed that this Dialogue would continue to strengthen cooperative relations between the two countries across ministries, departments, and agencies.

Both sides concurred on holding the Fifth meeting of the Dialogue in Japan, in 2018.

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So what is it like to float out into the vacuum of space? "Ginormous fondue pot, bubbling over with piping hot awesomesauce," said American astronaut Jack Fischer as he embarked on his first-ever spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Friday. The comments by Fischer, 43, were carried live on NASA television as he and his colleague Peggy Whitson, 57, made the 200th spacewal ... read more

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