It has been often said that nurturing human resources and developing advanced technologies are the only way for Japan, which is a small country without natural resources, to maintain its continuous growth while ensuring national security. Space technology is a combination of all advanced technologies, and is the most cutting-edge technology among them. However, unfortunately Japanese space development programs do not seem to be planned around a long-term national strategy based on the importance of development. Although it may be a little too late, I think we should take this opportunity of the merger of three aerospace related organizations to promote an understanding of the importance of space utilization among Japanese citizens as we are all specialists who are directly involved in space development and are very aware of its importance. I also feel there is an increasing demand for us to explain the secrets of space systematically and in a simpler manner. We are required to fulfill the above responsibility through public relations and educational activities. It is very clear that space education is an investment for promoting the future of space development, in the same manner as space development is the investment for the future of Japan. Thus JAXA should urgently enrich its educational activities.
There are two major objectives for space education. The first is to cultivate children's curiosity and exploratory minds by using space as educational material. Space is the best material to make children passionate and enthusiastic. The second is to contribute to nurture future human resources, not only for space development, but for various other areas.