Canada and Japan Sign Memorandum for Promotion of Space Cooperation

©Government of Canada

Minister Ed Fast signs MOU

On his latest stop in Japan as part of an Asian tour promoting all things Canadian, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced several initiatives with the Japanese government that includes a new Canada-Japan Memorandum for Promotion of Space Cooperation.

According to the announcement the memorandum will be signed in the coming days. The initiative is part of the Canadian Space Agency President Steve MacLean's ongoing goal to broaden Canadian co-operative agreements with other like minded countries. Canada is currently working towards further cooperation with China and has been for many months in negotiations with Russia for closer ties. This includes potentially buying rides on their Soyuz spacecraft for future Canadian astronauts to visit the International Space Station.

The Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) put out a statement in support of the new Canada-Japan effort. Jim Quick, President and CEO of AIAC said "Canada's Space technological capabilities and knowhow are crucial to meeting several of our national strategic needs and priorities. Investments in our Space capabilities are investments in our national security and quality of life. Cooperation with other space nations such as Japan will help enhance those capabilities and will likely result in an increased trade between the two nations. We congratulate the CSA and it's President Dr. Steve MacLean for this significant accomplishment."

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. who have been conducting business for two decades in Japan also released a statement wherein they said they were looking to growing their business in Japan in particularly in the communications, space exploration and Earth observation areas.

UPDATED: Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway has signed the memorandum of understanding on behalf of the Canadian government.

According to the statement released by media office: "The new agreement will enhance cooperation between Canada and Japan in science and technology; support competitiveness of the Canadian space sector by creating opportunities for Canadian industry in Japanese markets; promote increased access to the Japanese market and facilitate strategic alliances between Canadian and Japanese companies; and encourage academic institutions to work together. The main fields of collaboration covered by this agreement include earth observation, space exploration, and science and research."

Image Front row:
Left to right: Kazuo Todani, Director General, Research and Development Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Keiji Tachikawa, President, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency; the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway; Steve MacLean, President, Canadian Space Agency; and Mikio Aoki, Senior Coordinator, Secretariat of Strategic Headquarters for Space Policy, Cabinet Secretariat.

Image Back row:
Left to right: Iain Christie, President of Neptec Design Group; Mag Iskander, President of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates; Jean-Ren Roy, Vice-President and General Manager of ABB Canada; and Marc-Andr Soucy, Director, of ABB Canada's Remote Sensing division.