Outer Space


Space-based technologies and applications, such as telecommunication, Earth observation and navigation, have become indispensable in our daily lives. International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space is the key element to ensure safe and sustainable activities in outer space, as well as to extend the numerous benefits derived from space exploration to humanity.

The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), set up by the General Assembly in 1959 (resolution 1472 (XIV)), serves as a valuable platform to discuss ways to enhance international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space in an open, transparent and inclusive manner. For more than half a century, the Committee, and its technical and legal subcommittees, has been at the center of humankind’s efforts to peacefully explore and utilize the outer space environment with the objective of sharing the benefits of space science and technology and their applications to contribute to the social and economic development of the global community. An ongoing exchange of space research and technologies have contributed greatly to tackling major global challenges such as the rise in sea levels, security threats, natural disasters and the depletion of water.

Japan/COPUOS cooperation

Since the foundation of COPUOS, Japan has contributed to critical discussions in the Committees of important topics, such as the mitigation of space debris, space application programs, capacity-building, and the long term sustainability of outer space. Dr. Yasushi Horikawa, Technical Counsellor, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), assumed the COPUOS Chairmanship from 2012 to 2013, and Prof. Setsuko Aoki, Keio University has been working as the Chair of Working Group on the Review of International Mechanisms for Cooperation in the Peaceful Exploration and Use of Outer Space under the Legal Subcommittee of COPUOS from 2014 to 2017. Furthermore, Dr. Chiaki Mukai, Senior Advisor to the Executive Director, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), will assume the position of Chair of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of COPUOS for the year 2017.
Japan will continue to make meaningful contributions in this important global forum, especially to the rule-making process of important topics such as the long-term sustainability of outer space activities, and in promoting international cooperation with wide reaching benefits in the wider context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Post-2015 Development Agenda process. Inspired by these initiatives, Japan recently tabled a proposal outlining a three step work plan toward 2019 to deepen the discussion on the contribution of space technology to the sustainable development agenda.

In March 2015, Japan will host the United Nations/Japan Workshop on Space Weather 2015 at Kyushu University under the UN Programme on Space Applications.
You can learn more about Japanese space policy at: