14 March 2011. As preparatory activity for the upcoming project on the Europe-Japan partnership in space, ESPI conducted meetings with high-level officials in Japan.  

ESPI’s Workplan project on the Europe-Japan partnership, that will be undertaken in the second half of 2011, and led by ESPI Resident Fellow Jana Robinson, will explore the current status, and future prospects for, strengthened cooperation between Europe and Japan in a number of areas.


ESPI Director, Kai-Uwe Schrogl, and ESPI Resident Fellow, Jana Robinson, met with government officials from various Ministries, including the Deputy Secretary-General of the Cabinet Secretariat’s Strategic Headquarters for Space Policy, Chairman of the Space Activities Commission (SAC), Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Education (MEXT), and Director of International Science Cooperation Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). A scheduled meeting with the Director of the Space Industry Office at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) had to be cancelled due to the devastating earthquake that struck Japan on Friday, 11 March. The ESPI representatives experienced the dramatic effects of the powerful quake on the 18th floor of the MEXT building.

ESPI’s Kai-Uwe Schrogl and Jana Robinson with Tetsuhiko Ikegami, Chairman of the Space Activities Commission (SAC)


With regard to Japanese industry, meetings were held with the President of Japan’s Manned Space Systems Corporation (JAMSS) and the President of the Japan Space Forum (JSF).


ESPI’s Kai-Uwe Schrogl and Jana Robinson with Kazuhide Todome, President, Japan Manned Space Systems Corporation (JAMSS)


ESPI’s Kai-Uwe Schrogl and Jana Robinson with Kaoru Mamiya, President, Japan Space Forum


On 14 March, a special meeting was arranged for ESPI’s representatives and the Director of the George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute (SPI), Scott Pace, with JAXA President, Keiji Tachikawa, and JAXA Executive Vice President, Kiyoshi Higuchi. Scott Pace also participated in the space policy and governance workshop organized by the Tokyo University’s Graduate School of Public Policy Space Policy on 12 March 2011 (see related webnews here). In the JAXA venue, ESPI gave a presentation on the European perspective concerning future space transportation programmes and international cooperation earlier that day (presentation available here).


At JAXA with President Keiji Tachikawa and Executive Vice President Kiyoshi Higuchi (third and fourth from left standing)


Part of ESPI’s upcoming project on Europe-Japan cooperation, referenced above, is a planned workshop with high-level participation from Europe and Japan. The report at the conclusion of the project is scheduled to be published at the beginning of next year. The project will also reflect the consequences of the recent natural disaster. ESPI also invited senior representatives from Japan to its large international conference on transatlantic perspectives of space security which will be convened in Prague on 12 – 14 June 2011.

- Presentation: "European Space Transportation Capabilities"


photo credit: ESPI

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