Japan To Include Space Projects In Its Development Assistance Funding

Tokyo, Japan (AHN) – Japan intends to expand its science and technology cooperation with its Asia-Pacific neighbors by providing funds for space projects. Japanese Vice Minister for Science and Technology Yoshitsugu Harada said Thursday at a regional forum in India that Japan will amend its development assistance budget to include space projects for developing nations.

“Though the budget for the ODA framework is yet to be approved, we look forward to promoting the use of data from Daich with our regional partners. We will also provide equipment, training and experts as part of the assistance,” Harada said at the 14th session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum.

Daich is Japan’s newest advanced land observation satellite.

Harada also pledged Japan’s support for the disaster management project, Sentinel Asia, established in 2004 by India, Thailand and South Korea. The Sentinel is a network of earth observation systems used to disseminate information on possible disasters and to assist recovery operations after a catastrophe.

Aside from disaster management, the Sentinel is being used to study vegetation, changes in coral reef formations and other geographic changes taking place in the region.

Japan was a top donor to developing nations from 1991 to 2000. Although it has heavily supported Asia the past years, Tokyo’s assistance is expanding outside the region. In 2005, former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi pledged a two-fold hike in its development funding for Africa over the next three years.

Vittorio Hernandez – AHN News Writer

Author: EARSC

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