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U.S., Japan Sign Pact for Peaceful, Collaborative Exploration of Space

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Hayashi Yoshimasa signed a framework agreement to strengthen the two countries’ collaboration on space exploration.

The pact centers on peaceful exploration of outer space, the Moon and other celestial bodies, NASA announced Saturday. The agreement was signed at NASA headquarters on Friday.

In 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President and National Space Council Chair Kamala Harris made separate visits to Japan to discuss initiatives to foster U.S.-Japan cooperation, which includes space operations. The new agreement brings those visits to fruition.

Under the terms of the partnership, the two countries will conduct joint activities in space science, operations, exploration, technology, transportation, safety and mission assurance. Projects will also focus on Earth science and aeronautical science and technology.

“From low-Earth orbit to the Moon and beyond, Japan is one of NASA’s most significant international partners, and this latest framework agreement will allow us to further collaborate across our agencies’ broad portfolios in exploration, science, and research,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said.

Japan is one of the first signatories of the Artemis Accords for the revival of missions to the Moon. It also pledged to contribute to the Gateway program, the first multi-purpose space station in lunar orbit to be launched as part of the Artemis mission.

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