Dr. Naoki Okumura, President of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (hereinafter referred to as JAXA), and Dr. Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (hereinafter referred to as CNES), signed the revised agreement for the "Inter-Agency Arrangement between NASDA and CNES Concerning the Preparation of a Long Term Cooperation in the Field of Space Programs " on 5 October 2015.
The purpose of the revision is to achieve effective cooperation between space agencies of Japan and France, in light of the changes in the business environment., This includes the increasing presence of emerging countries and the private sector in space development and utilization, as well as changes in Japan such as the enactment of the new Basic Plan for Space Policy and the transition of JAXA to a National Research and Development Agency.
On the occasion of the visit by Mr. Manuel Valls, Prime Minister of France to Japan, the exchange ceremony of signing agreement took place at the Prime Minister’s Office of Japan in the presence of Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe and Manuel Valls.
Background of cooperation with CNES
Cooperation between JAXA and CNES in the field of space was initiated in 1980s. In the 1990s, the two agencies built their cooperative relationship through specific programs, such as carrying the CNES instrument on Japan’s “Midori” (ADEOS: the Advanced Earth Observing Satellite).
In November 1996, in the presence of Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and President Chirac, the "Inter-Agency Arrangement between NASDA and CNES Concerning the Preparation of a Long Term Cooperation in the Field of Space Programs " was signed by Mr. Isao Uchida, President of NASDA (former JAXA) and Dr. Alain Bensoussan, President of CNES.
In 2010, the Presidents of both agencies signed the new “Inter-Agency Agreement between JAXA and CNES Concerning the Cooperation in the Field of Space Programs”, due to the maturing situation of the relationship between the two agencies which had moved into implementation phase from preparation phase.
Main points of the revision:
(1) In order to strengthen the cooperative study, a strategic meeting is established with the attendance of executives in charge of planning of both agencies. This meeting will drive the overall discussion between JAXA and CNES to decide the direction of cooperation.
(2) Towards cooperation, three areas are prioritized: “Future joint mission study”; “Space applications for the society (Down Stream Applications)”; and “Parts under the space environment”.