Message from JAXA President

Message from JAXA President

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
Hiroshi Yamakawa, President

New JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa's Comment

Hello. I am Hiroshi Yamakawa. I am pleased to introduce myself to all as new JAXA President. I was with JAXA until 2006, twelve years ago. I engaged in development of rockets and served as project manager of Bepicolombo, JAXA-ESA joint Mercury exploration mission. My career history also includes research at NASA and ESA as visiting scientist. Since 2006, Kyoto University has been my workplace, where my research subjects were technologies to monitor and mitigate space debris and engineering approach to asteroids that come close to Earth. My work eventually went beyond the limits of laboratories. From 2010 through 2012, I served as Secretary General, Space Development Strategy Division, Cabinet Secretariat. Then in 2012, I became a member of the Space Policy Committee of the Cabinet Office and have been involved in Japanese space policies ever since. The last three JAXA Presidents represent private businesses. With solemn feeling, I took office and bring my researcher's background for the first time to JAXA.

Under the last President Okumura's leadership, JAXA consistently accomplished missions to bring about industrialization of the space use and establishment of social infrastructure. They are highlighted by the technological transfer of the quasi-Zenith satellite technology to the Cabinet Office, expansion use of KIBO, Japanese experiment module aboard the International Space Station by the private sector, and practical application of Earth observation satellite data to disaster relief. JAXA also reformed internally to reinforce the foundation of its management and took up: the development of H3 rockets, the large rocket family domestically manufactured in partnership with the prime maker, the engineering test Satellite-9 to gain a satellite communications market share, the newly-established Space Exploration Innovation Hub to get ready for space exploration in the future, a strengthening in the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) System. JAXA's endeavors raised international competitiveness of Japanese space and aerospace technologies. Through these missions accomplished during the same period, JAXA contributed to solution of social issues and growth of Japanese industries.

Globally, aerospace industry is getting tougher and more crowded with so-called New Space, participants from outside the space businesses, especially on European and North American capital. Rising powers from the Middle East and Africa have increased their access to space. The community of space-faring organizations is bombarded with waves of changes and fierce competition. In my opinion, space institutions are now required to adapt shifting responsibilities. Unitedly, JAXA needs to share that recognition and fulfill its role. This approach should assimilate among individual JAXA staffers and get across to Japanese citizens.

To that end, I am implementing two goals;
One, ensure that JAXA's research and development results are put into practice and become rooted in society.
And the other, JAXA must pioneer a new frontier by innovative aerospace studies and leading technologies.

Regarding the first goal, JAXA should develop projects and tactic maneuvers implemented build on during President Okumura's tenure. Satellite navigation systems must be improved and enhanced. Additionally, JAXA ought to work on making remote sensing technology more accessible, possibly by taking no charge and encouraging its use. My desire is that through those efforts, use and application of satellite derived information will be established as social infrastructure.

Ensuring space security with use of space technologies, which has started JAXA's last mid-term plan, should still be given priority for our country. I will also continue on the open innovation in space exploration, aeronautics and ISS Kibo projects in collaboration with new players yet to set foot in space field. In the next years to come, I would like to attract more ventures and others from the private sector to partner with JAXA.

Let me expend on the second goal – JAXA should take up research and development that breaks new ground. My aspiration is enabling JAXA to bring something substantial to the table of discussion on international lunar exploration. This was the topic at the ISEF2 held in Tokyo last week. Having a group of personnel equipped for the task within JAXA will go a long way.

My presidency falls on the fourth period of JAXA's mid-term plan. I am committed to avail myself and all my expertise both academic and political to JAXA, the Agency that never ceases to challenge.
My determination is doing my best to pursuit Japanese aerospace research and development. I would be pleased if support and understanding are given to JAXA.

JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference