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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 Fifth Meeting of the Comprehensive Dialogue on Space in Tokyo, on July 20, 2018. This Dialogue represents the strong and shared commitment of two of the world’s most advanced spacefaring nations to further enhance 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.

This meeting was co-chaired by representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the National Space Policy Secretariat, Cabinet Office for Japan, and by representatives from the National Space Council and the National Security Council for the United States. Principal participants included the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; National Space Policy Secretariat; National Security Secretariat; National Ocean Policy Secretariat; Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications; Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology; Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry; Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; 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, and the Department of State; Department of Defense; Department of Transportation; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Intelligence Community from the U.S. side.

This Fifth Comprehensive Dialogue on Space continued the work to enhance and strengthen cooperation between the two countries from a broad, inclusive, and strategic perspective. With the participation of experts from a wide range of government agencies, the Dialogue emphasized a whole-of-government approach to civil, commercial, and national security space interest and cooperation.

At the Fifth Dialogue, both sides provided updates on their respective space policies. In regard to space traffic management (STM), as outer space is becoming increasingly congested with orbital debris and the volume and diversity of activities in space grows, both sides affirmed the importance of measures to maintain the safe and responsible use of outer space, and confirmed strengthened cooperation on related issues such as space situational awareness (SSA), orbital debris mitigation and international norms and best practices for activities in space. Both sides also discussed opportunities for cooperation in space resource development.

Both sides renewed their recognition 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, and based on this, the U.S.-Japan Space Security Dialogue was held in Tokyo on July 19, 2018, and discussed space security cooperation. Both sides shared the view that it is critically important to enhance space domain mission assurance, including resiliency of their space systems. Both sides welcomed bilateral security cooperation in outer space through participation in the Schriever Wargame and the Global Sentinel Exercise. Both sides reaffirmed mutual interest in sharing information and experience in space situational awareness (SSA). Recognizing that space systems are essential to maritime activities, both sides confirmed that they would 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 (MDA). Both sides affirmed to keep exploring the possibility of bilateral cooperation in hosted payloads, satellite communications and human resources development.

Recognizing that their leaders shared the view to promote further cooperation in the exploration of space at the U.S.-Japan summit meeting held in November 2017, both sides reconfirmed the importance of the constructive discussion and positive outcomes resulting from the second International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF2) held on March 3, 2018 in Tokyo. The U.S. side presented the Gateway, to be launched in orbit around the Moon and lunar surface missions, and invited the participation of Japan. The Japanese side expressed its intention to advance coordination on these missions with a view towards participation. Both sides exchanged opinions on future cooperation, and confirmed a desire to accelerate coordination on concrete bilateral space exploration missions. Both sides welcomed the ongoing efforts under the Japan-U.S. Open Platform Partnership Program (JP-US OP3) relating to the International Space Station (ISS), discussed the operation and utilization of ISS from 2025 onwards, the importance of encouraging private sector activities in low Earth orbit, and the strategic and diplomatic significance of future space exploration cooperation.

Both sides welcomed efforts to strengthen industry cooperation at the fourth Dialogue. In February 2018, a Japanese public-private mission on space industry visited the United States and deepened exchanges with U.S. companies and government officials to encourage further cooperation in a proactive manner. Both sides discussed further collaboration in space applications, including satellite navigation systems such as the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) and Japan’s Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) and Earth observation, as well as in space science including space weather.

Both sides reaffirmed the importance of the rule of law in outer space and voluntary best practice guidelines. 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 the guidelines for long-term sustainability of outer space activities, and transparency and confidence-building measures (TCBMs) to strengthen stability in space activities. Both sides recognized the role of space applications in the context of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and discussed cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region for confidence-building and capacity-building for developing countries in the field of space. Both sides further recognized the importance of working cooperatively at ongoing meetings of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to discuss appropriate usage of radio frequency spectrum while preventing harmful interference.

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 Sixth Meeting of the Dialogue in the United States, in 2019.

U.S. Department of State

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