JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference April 2014

JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference

Date and time: From 1:30 - 1:50 p.m. on April. 10 (Thu.), 2014
Venue: JAXA Tokyo Office Presentation Room (B1 floor)
MC: Shigeki Kamigaichi, JAXA Public Affairs Department Director

Opening statement

This is the first regular conference for Japan Fiscal Year 2014, and I am looking forward to working with you again this year.
This fiscal year is the second year of the third midterm plan as well as my second year as JAXA president, thus I would like to make it a year of action. Unfortunately, JAXA's budget is shrinking year on year in the midst of intensifying space technology competition throughout the world. Against this backdrop, I recognize that a major practical challenge is how to perform our activities efficiently without diminishing our technological and development power. This point was also seen when we had internal discussions to study the new-born JAXA last fiscal year.
I would like to introduce you to three points of our initiative for the second year of the new-born JAXA with the determination of JAXA employees to achieve our goals.
Firstly, I assigned Senior Vice President Kiyoshi Higuchi as a Director of the Tsukuba Space Center and the Aerospace Research and Development Directorate.
Secondly, a new post as Senior Chief Officer of the Lunar and Planetary Exploration Program was established to be a full-time person in charge of the International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF) in order to accelerate space exploration projects. I assigned Associate Director General Tetsuo Tanaka to this post to be stationed at the Sagamihara Campus. Tetsuo Tanaka was the Space Vehicle Technology Center Director at the Human Spaceflight Mission Directorate, and was in charge of directing the KOUNOTORI (HTV) mission.
Thirdly is the issue of "industrial promotion", one of the important challenges of the Basic Plan on Space Policy. In order to further facilitate the industrial promotion, we abolished the Industrial Collaboration and Coordination Center and newly set up the "New Enterprise Promotion Center" as part of our regular organization framework. The new center is expected to play a role of compiling a policy for industrial promotion activities and to promote such activities while covering all of JAXA.
I would like to explain a bit more about Senior Vice President Higuchi's position as Director of the Tsukuba Space Center and the Aerospace Research and Development Directorate. From the current space development trends, I believe that we will travel further in space in the future, and generating new technology for that purpose is imperative. Therefore, we will make key technology of each directorate a common technology by removing divisional walls, strengthen collaboration with other individual administrative agencies and research organizations such as universities in the Tsukuba area to facilitate excavation of fresh knowhow for space, improve JAXA's competitiveness, and expand our values. We would like to make this second year and later years of the midterm plan more fruitful by enhancing our internal organization.


I. Safety, security and disaster prevention
II. Space science frontier
III. Industrial promotion
IV. Education, promotion, and international cooperation

I. Safety, security and disaster prevention

Selection of Prime Contractor for Development and Launch Services of New National Flagship Launch Vehicle

JAXA made an announcement to the private sector on February 27, 2014, to compare their proposals and select a prime contractor who can be responsible for launch and space transportation services for a newly developed flagship launch vehicle. As a result, after carefully evaluating proposals including confirmation of application prerequisites and conformity with requirements, we have selected Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) as the prime contractor. We will start the development in cooperation with a group of private companies led by MHI.

II. Space science frontier

Astronaut Wakata's activities

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and ISS Commander Astronaut Wakata will hold a communication event at the Prime Minister's Official Residence today (April 10.) I will have the honor of attending the event along with them.

Protein Crystal Growth (PCG)

The first experiment of the second session for the high quality protein crystallization growth experiment (PCG) has begun on March 28. The test sample for this time was transported by the Soyuz spacecraft (38S) launched on March 26, and Astronaut Wakata brought and set it to the PCG experiment equipment in the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo"

III. Industrial promotion

FDMA starts operation of centralized management system for fire-fighting and disaster-relief helicopter operations

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications started operating the new Centralized Management System for Firefighting and Disaster-relief Helicopter Operations in April 2014, in which the technology of the Disaster Relief Aircraft Information Sharing Network (D-NET) is utilized. D-NET was developed by JAXA.
The new system can enable the FDMA to not only grasp locations of firefighting helicopters in action allover Japan in real time but also share detailed disaster information such as stricken areas with helicopters equipped with the new system compatible with the D-NET.
The new system is also compatible with the D-NET data standard, which summarizes the necessary information that should be shared among disaster-relief aircraft, and also enables the sharing of information with other management systems that will become common in the future in Japan. Therefore, the new system is expected to contribute to attaining safer and more efficient aircraft operations in the case of a large-scale disaster in which a multiple number of disaster-relief agencies are involved.

IV. Education, promotion, and international cooperation

JAXA open-house events will be held for the Science and Technology Week starting from April 14.

Tsukuba Space Center

Date and Time: April 19 (Sun.) from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Entrance closed at 3:30 p.m.)
Location: 2-1-1 Sengen, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki

Chofu Aerospace Center (CAC)

Date and Time: April 20 (Sun.) from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Entrance closed at 3:30 p.m.)
Location: First venue: CAC: 7-44-1 Jindaiji Higashi-machi, Chofu-shi, Tokyo Second venue: CAC Aerodrome Branch 6-13-1 Osawa, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo

Kakuda Space Center

Date and Time: April 20 (Sun.) from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Entrance closed at 3:00 p.m.)
Location: 1 Koganezawa, Kimigaya, Kakuda-shi, Miyagi