The Italian and Japanese delegations met to discuss areas of common interest, such as Earth observation, space science and exploration.

12 December 2023

The Italian delegation, led by the Minister of Industry and Made in Italy, Hon. Adolfo Urso, together with the president of the Italian Space Agency, Prof. Teodoro Valente, met with Hon. Sanae Takaichi, Japan's Minister of State for Space and Technology, and Hon. Junji Suzuki, Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC).

The delegations examined areas of common interest, such as Earth observation, space science and exploration. The exchange of data between Italy's COSMO-SkyMed satellite system and Japan's ALOS has been a best practice for years now, setting an example for other countries as well.

Both Italy and Japan consider the ARTEMIS lunar exploration program, for which they have signed a cooperation agreement with NASA, a priority. They are engaged in developing different but useful technologies for which they exchange information and that can favor bilateral or trilateral partnership opportunities. Finally, the Italian and Japanese scientific communities are closely cooperating on science missions, such as SOLAR C and Bepi Colombo.  Special attention was paid to the issue of responsible use of space activities and their sustainability in terms of technology and international regulatory standards.

The ASI delegation also met with the Directors General for Research, Development, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), International Cooperation, Economy, Industry and Trade (METI), and the Deputy Secretary of the Cabinet Office's National Space Policy (CAO).

The meeting between the two delegations was an opportunity to formalize the handover of the G7 presidency from Japan to Italy, with the common intent of enhancing the sustainability of space activities.

The conference "Italy Innovation Day 2023: Space Chapter and Beyond", organized by the Embassy of Italy in Japan in cooperation with the two space agencies at the Italian Cultural Institute in Tokyo, provided an opportunity for the space agencies, ASI and JAXA, to meet. It was also an occasion for SMEs and start-ups from Italy's regional districts to meet with Japanese companies.

"This new ASI mission to Japan, the second this year, is part of the ever-stronger cooperation relationship between the two countries brought about by our two prime ministers in January 2023. Japan's experience and Italy's capabilities are an important starting point to address, for example, the space traffic issue due to orbital congestion, caused by space objects and debris, in order to prevent collisions and accidents.  To this end, I proposed to my Japanese colleagues to establish a task force to also encourage cooperation between industries and the launch of commercial missions aimed at space debris removal," said President Teodoro Valente.

An invitation was extended to the Japanese space community to attend the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) to be held in Milan, Italy from October 14-18, 2024. The Congress is one of the most important events in the space world, which is hosted by a different country each year and brings together experts, representatives of space agencies, industries, and young people.

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