Pursuant to the shared goal of continuing to advance bilateral space cooperation and to further strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance as declared by the leaders of both nations, the Government of Japan and the Government of the United States of America held the Eighth Meeting of the Japan-U.S. Comprehensive Dialogue on Space in Tokyo on March 24, 2023. This Dialogue represents the strong and shared commitment of two of the world’s most advanced spacefaring nations to enhance bilateral space cooperation and to cooperate closely with the international community toward ensuring the continuous, safe, stable, secure, and sustainable use of outer space for current and future generations.
This meeting was co-chaired by representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Space Policy Secretariat, Cabinet Office for Japan, and by representatives from the Executive Office of the President’s National Space Council and National Security Council for the United States. Principal participants included the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; National Space Policy Secretariat; National Security Secretariat; Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center; Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications; Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT); Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Ministry of Environment; Ministry of Defense; Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA); and National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) from the Japanese side, and the Departments of State, Defense, Transportation, and Commerce; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; and the Office of the National Cyber Director from the U.S. side.
At this meeting, as in the previous dialogues, both sides exchanged views on a wide range of areas pertaining to outer space. Both sides gave updates on their respective space policies and strategies, including Japan’s upcoming revision of the Basic Plan on Space Policy and the U.S. Space Priorities Framework. The U.S. side also shared views on threats to space and the use of space by strategic competitors. In this regard, both sides recalled the recognition that attacks to, from, or within space, in certain circumstances, could lead to the invocation of Article V of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. In the context of discussing the new U.S. National Cybersecurity Strategy, both sides affirmed the importance of cybersecurity for enabling future space cooperation. In civil space, the U.S. side emphasized the necessity of embracing open-source science to advance mutual science and innovation goals; to meet economic, industrial, and foreign policy objectives; and to advance solutions that meet climate objectives and improve life on Earth for citizens of Japan, the United States, and nations around the world.
On national security, the U.S. side strongly welcomed Japan’s recent adoption of its new National Security Strategy, and both sides noted the strong alignment between Japanese and U.S. strategic interests and values, and committed to leveraging bilateral space cooperation to support its implementation. Both sides also conducted discussions for further enhancing their space security cooperation, including strengthening their cooperation on the use of space for Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). Both sides also discussed ongoing efforts to identify and promote responsible behaviors to enhance security, stability, and sustainability in outer space, including both sides’ commitments not to conduct destructive, direct-ascent anti-satellite missile tests.
On commercial space, both sides discussed Space Situational Awareness and regulatory frameworks and welcomed the inclusion, for the first time since the Dialogue’s inception, of industry participation in the Dialogue process, including events held on February 28 in Washington and on March 23 in Tokyo. Given the increasing importance and expanding role of the private sector in exploring outer space, including to both countries’ national security, both sides committed to deepening linkages between their respective space industries, and expressed their intention to pursue a space industry network composed of Japanese and U.S. space companies interested in deepening cooperation in order to support the goals of the Japan-U.S. alliance in space.
Both sides also discussed strong, successful Japan-U.S. cooperation in civil space activities, which continues to grow. The discussion included the Artemis program, cooperation on the Gateway lunar orbit platform, the Artemis Accords, aeronautics research, and low Earth orbit (LEO) human activities, including continuing cooperation on the International Space Station (ISS) and discussing new commercial LEO destinations. As noted by Prime Minister Kishida and President Biden in May 2022, both sides look forward to a Japanese astronaut landing on the lunar surface. Both sides recognized the historic opportunity presented by human lunar missions and discussed Japan’s desire for a Japanese astronaut to be the first non-U.S. astronaut to the lunar surface. Both sides also welcomed progress in technical discussions between JAXA and NASA on lunar surface activities, including a Japanese pressurized crew rover to support astronaut activities on the lunar surface. Both sides also recognized the significance of cooperation in climate change monitoring and research in various areas, such as greenhouse gases, precipitation, water cycle and forests, and expressed strong interest in advancing collaboration in the future. In space science, both sides expressed excitement regarding the upcoming launch of the XRISM and SLIM missions in 2023 and the Phobos sample return mission, MMX, in 2024. Furthermore, both sides discussed multilateral cooperation for space sustainability, including the G7 and its joint efforts for the remediation of debris. Both sides welcomed the strong cross-government cooperation on Japan’s QZSS program, including hosting U.S. payloads on QZSS satellites, as well as the United States hosting QZSS ground stations.
While sharing the view that the two sides will further promote their space cooperation in light of the signing of The Framework Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the United States of America for Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, for Peaceful Purposes in January of this year, both sides also reconfirmed the strategic value of the Japan-U.S. 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 Ninth meeting of the Dialogue in the United States in 2024.