2 March 2012. ESPI was invited to deliver a presentation on space debris at the International Symposium on Sustainable Space Development and Utilization for Humankind that was held in Tokyo, Japan.

Jana Robinson, ESPI Resident Fellow, delivered a lecture entitled “Space Security Dimensions of Debris Mitigation and Removal” at the International Symposium on Sustainable Space Development and Utilization for Humankind organized by the Japan Space Forum (JSF) on 1-2 March 2012. The JSF is an owner and operator of Japan’s facilities for monitoring space debris. The symposium sought to delineate the latest developments in the U.S. and Europe in the area of space sustainability, including space debris mitigation and removal. The value of Space Situational Awareness (SSA) to the Japanese decision-makers, industry/private sector and satellite owners/operators, was also probed.

ESPI’s presentation focused on the policy issues related to the mitigation and active removal of space debris, as well as possible policy options to address this issue. Among these options was the political governance of space debris removal, especially the role of Transparency and Confidence-Building Measures (TCBMs) as practical tools to promote responsible and predictable behavior in space.

The symposium was addressed by a number of key Japanese decision-makers, including Motohisa Furukawa, Minister of State for Space Development, Yoshia Muto, Deputy Director General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kazuo Todani, Director General of the Ministry of Education,Culture,Sports,Science & Technology, Kioshi Higuchi, Vice President of JAXA and Hiroshi Yamakawa, Secretary General of Secretariat of the Strategic Headquarters of Space Policy in the Cabinet Office. Other distinguished speakers from Japan included Yasushi Horikawa, Incoming Chairman of the UN Committee for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS); Susumu Yoshitomi, JSF; Kaneaki Narita, JAXA; and Shigetaka Shinozuka of the Sky Perfect JSAT Corporation.

Participants from the United States included Frank Rose, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Space and Defense Policy at the Department of State; Richard McKinney, Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for Space Programs at the Department of Defense; James Finch, Director for Space Policy and Strategy, Office of the Secretary of Defense; Kurt Story, the Joint Functional Component Command (JFCC) Space; Duane Bird, US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), Eugene Stansbery, NASA; Larry Welsch, former President of the Institute for Defense Analyses IDA); and Victoria Samson, Secure World Foundation (SWF). European speakers included, Uwe Wirt, German Space Situational Awareness Center, Emmet Fletcher, European Space Agency (ESA), Fernand Alby,the French Space Agency, CNES, and Alex Soons, International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS).

Participants of the symposium also had an opportunity to visit Japan’s space surveillance facilities at the Bisei Spaceguard Centre and the Kamisaibara Spaceguard Centre.

At the Kamisaibara Spaceguard Centre

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