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UK and Japan Space Cooperation Announced

UK Space Operations Centre graphic [Crown Copyright]

Leaders of the RAF and the Kōkū-Jietai (Japan Air Self Defence Force) have signed Terms of Reference outlining future space cooperation.

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News Release, Whitehall, 17 March 2023: The UK’s Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, and Japan’s Chief of Staff of the Kōkū-Jietai, General Shunji Izutsu, signed a Terms of Reference document after talks at DSEI Japan, which is being held this week in Tokyo.

This arrangement establishes a framework for Space Engagement Talks, which will facilitate future cooperation between the Kōkū-Jietai and UK Space Command. This cooperation will cover areas such as operational knowledge sharing, collaborative exercises and training, and personnel exchanges. It also sets out a mutual desire for the sharing of space-related information through future information sharing arrangements.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, Chief of the Air Staff, said: “Japan is a valued international partner of the UK. We share common values and strategic interests, and we are working ever more closely in the face of global security challenges. The space domain is critical to our shared security and prosperity, and a vital area of cooperation, underpinned by UK Space Command and the Kōkū-Jietai.”

Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston and Air Vice-Marshal Paul Godfrey were both in Tokyo for DSEI Japan. With an expected 10,000 visitors and 200 exhibitors from at least 15 countries, DSEI Japan is an opportunity for the UK to build and strengthen key relationships whilst promoting UK priorities in key areas such as air and missile defence, unmanned air capability, maritime, cyber and space.

Air Vice-Marshal Paul Godfrey, Commander of UK Space Command, said: “Our international partners are our greatest advantage in the space domain. This arrangement is an important step as we build our relationship with the JASDF, so that we can keep space safe, secure, and sustainable for the benefit of all.”

UK Space Command is the Defence lead for space operations, space workforce, and space capability. It’s a Joint Command, based at RAF High Wycombe, and staffed by personnel from the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force, alongside civil servants, and contractors.

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