JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference May 2014

JAXA President Monthly Regular Press Conference

Date and time: From 11:00 - 11:30 a.m. on May. 8 (Thu.), 2014
Venue: JAXA Tokyo Office Presentation Room (B1 floor)
MC: Shigeki Kamigaichi, JAXA Public Affairs Department Director

Opening statement

First of all, let me touch upon international cooperation. JAXA and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a partnership agreement on April 23.
JAXA and JICA have been cooperating on a specific project to use satellite data for a developing country. But, this time, we are very happy to sign a comprehensive partnership agreement with JICA’s understanding because we wanted to shape our cooperative relations in a tangible manner.
From JAXA’s point of view, the agreement at this time is very efficient as we can fully utilize satellite data from a group of our latest satellites in space including the Advanced Land Observing Satellite “DAICHI-2 (ALOS-2) to be launched this month, the Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) core satellite, the Global Change Observation Mission - Water “SHIZUKU” (GCOM-W) launched a few years back, and a positioning satellite. Such satellite data can be effectively applied for solving social challenges of emerging countries where JICA engages in projects.
I expect that we can provide more assistance and support to developing countries by using those satellites to solve their social problems of agricultural issues, natural disasters and other areas.
At the same time, we would like to expand more efficient ways of using satellites through our experience.


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

I. Safety, security, and disaster prevention

The SHIZUKU (GCOM-W) project team received a Commendation for Science and Technology by MEXT

The SHIZUKU (GCOM-W) development team received the JFY 2014 commendation for science and technology (development sector) by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology because of its achievements in developing high precision microwave observation technology for the GCOM-W. On April 15, the award ceremony was held at the ministry. The commendation is awarded to a party who attained a significant result for science and technology R&D and/or who facilitated more understanding in the field.

II. Space science frontier

(1) Manned space activity

- Astronaut Wakata
Today (May 8) is the 183rd day for Astronaut Wakata to stay at the International Space Station (ISS) since he started his long-term stay there. He surpassed Astronaut Furukawa’s record of 167 days of staying at the ISS as a Japanese astronaut. Now Astronaut Wakata is the record holder.
On April 10, a communication exchange event was held with Astronaut Wakata as the ISS commander by connecting the ISS and Prime Minister’s Office of Japan. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, MEXT Minister Hakubun Shimomura, Minister of State for Space Policy Ichita Yamamoto, and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy participated in the event.
On the next day, April 11, Astronaut Wakata and the rest of the ISS Expedition 39 crew talked to President Vladimir Putin of Russia.
Then, on the 24th, Astronaut Wakata sent a video message as the ISS commander to American President Barack Obama who visited the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation during his stay in Japan. President Obama watched the video with Astronaut Noguchi.
Astronaut Wakata is internationally active with abundant opportunities of talking with global political leaders. I truly hope for his safe return to Earth.

- Astronaut Wakata' s return schedule
Astronaut Wakata is scheduled to return to Earth at 10:57 a.m. on May 14* (Japan Standard Time). I will go to Kazakhstan to welcome him. His return flight and arrival time will be finalized during the flight readiness review.
*The return schedule as of May 8.

(2) Large balloon test at Taiki Aerospace Research Field

The first large balloon test will be held at the Taiki Aerospace Reserach Field between May 14 thru June 30. I plan to visit there during this test period to observe the test.

III. Education, promotion, and international cooperation

(1) Events

- Tsukuba Space Center special open-house event
Date and Time: April 19 (Sat.) between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (Entrance closed at 3:30 p.m.)
Location: 2-1-1 Sengen, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki
We received 12,125 visitors (the second-highest number on record.)

- 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
We received 8,823 visitors.

I am glad to hear that so many people visited our facilities. I believe that those visitors must have deepened their understanding toward JAXA’s operations by looking at them first hand.
We would like to continue our efforts to facilitate more people’s support of our activities by actively holding a facility open event.