Washington, DC - Pursuant to their shared goal of continuing to advance bilateral space cooperation and further strengthen the United States-Japan alliance as declared by their leaders, the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Japan held their Sixth Meeting of the Comprehensive Dialogue on Space in Washington D.C., on July 24, 2019.
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 to ensure the continuous, safe, and stable use of outer space for current and future generations.
This meeting was co-chaired by representatives from the Executive Office of the President’s National Space Council and National Security Council 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 Office of Science and Technology Policy, Departments of State, Defense, Commerce, Interior, and Transportation; and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Naval Research Laboratory, and National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office from the United States side, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Office of National Space Policy; National Security Secretariat; Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications; Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Ministry of Defense; Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA); and National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) from the Japanese side.
This Sixth 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 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 Sixth Comprehensive Dialogue, both sides provided updates on their respective space policies. The two sides renewed their strong determination to expand bilateral cooperation in Space Security, Space Situational Awareness (SSA), Space Traffic Management (STM), Space Exploration, Commercial Space, Earth Observation, and Global Navigation Satellite Systems, and to seek opportunities for engagement with Third Countries and in Multilateral Organizations.
With regard to space security, both sides reported the outcome of participation in the October 2018 Schriever Wargame hosted at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama pursuant to objectives outlined during the July 20, 2018, Fifth Comprehensive Dialogue on Space. Both countries shared the view that it is critically important to enhance the cybersecurity of space systems and noted the on-going multilateral efforts to define norms of behavior in space. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to explore opportunities for cooperation in enhancing Maritime Domain Awareness through the use of space systems.
Recalling discussions at the April 19, 2019, United States-Japan Security Consultative Committee, participants reviewed and confirmed progress on Japan’s development of a Deep Space Radar and on plans for hosting United Sates-provided SSA payloads on Japan’s Quasi Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) planned for launch in 2023.
In regard to Space Situational Awareness, Space Traffic Management, and Space Weather, both sides provided updates to developments in policy implementation following the bilateral affirmation of the importance of measures to maintain the safe and responsible use of outer space from the July 20, 2018, Fifth Comprehensive Dialogue. Further, both sides discussed on-going efforts to mitigate orbital debris taking into account the serious threat of space debris to the sustainable use of outer space made clear by Prime Minister Abe at the G20 Osaka Summit Meeting on June 29, 2019. These efforts include encouraging and facilitating private sector involvement in SSA, STM, and other related activities including on orbit servicing and active debris removal, improving SSA data interoperability, greater SSA data sharing, and support for development of operational standards, best practices, and norms of behavior. Both sides also confirmed continuing cooperation on ground data acquisition for space weather monitoring and alerts.
Recognizing the outcome of the May 2019 United States-Japan summit, both sides shared the intention to strengthen cooperation, particularly in the area of exploration of the Moon as a stepping-stone to Mars. They acknowledged plans to accelerate discussions on Japan’s participation in the Gateway and in lunar surface operations. The United States welcomed Japan’s proposals for possible contributions towards advancing mutual objectives in lunar exploration. Additionally, both sides committed to continue ongoing discussions for views and plans for the International Space Station after 2024 to include both lowering operating costs and increasing opportunities for commercial activities.
Both sides continued discussions on further collaboration in space applications, including satellite navigation systems such as the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) and Japan's QZSS and Earth observation, through both bilateral and multilateral mechanisms, as well as in space science. Both sides celebrated Japan’s recent success in the Hayabusa2 mission.
Both sides reaffirmed the importance of strengthening the rule of law in outer space, to include support of voluntary guidelines and best practices. They exchanged updates on recent progress in multilateral cooperation fora in which both nations participate, including the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) where both sides welcomed the adoption of the voluntary 21 Guidelines on the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities. Both sides further reiterated the importance of continued cooperative pursuit of 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 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and discussed cooperation in Asia-Pacific region for confidence-building and capacity-building for developing countries in the field of space.
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 Seventh Comprehensive Dialogue on Space in Japan in 2020.