Groups Praise New CSA-JAXA Cooperative Agreement

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) and the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) are hailing a new memorandum of understanding signed by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) that deeps space cooperation between the two nations.

“Several Canadian Space companies have strong scientific and business relations with Japan. This MOU will strengthen our ties with the Japanese space community in ways which will benefit both nations scientifically and economically,” said Jim Quick, President and CEO of AIAC, in a press release.

The agreement was announced during Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to Japan. According to a Canadian government press release:

The objective of the Memorandum is to promote and organize cooperative activities between Canada and Japan in the use of outer space for peaceful purposes, reinforce scientific and technological development, and strengthen our ties at the government, industrial and academic levels. This new Memorandum will provide a framework for heightened cooperation guided by clearly defined objectives.

The main fields of collaboration highlighted in this agreement include earth observation; space exploration, science and research; and activities and programs enhancing the awareness of outer space amongst youth.

Japan is a key component in the CSA’s strategy to diversify international partnerships. Relationships such as this one are mutually beneficial and essential in providing both partners with the capability to enhance our profiles and further our science and technology mandates both domestically and abroad. As Canada does not have the capacity to launch vessels into orbit, Japan is a natural partner in space cooperation.

In addition, Japan’s compatibility with Canada is based on shared objectives and missions, including the Global Exploration Strategy and our multilateral partnership in the International Space Station.

“Canada’s Space technological capabilities and know how 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,” Quick added. “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.”

MDA also praised the agreement in a statement.

MDA has been conducting business for two decades with Japanese partners. This business covered a wide range of products, including satellite’s ground stations, geospatial information, space robotics and communication satellite subsystems.

MDA values its collaboration with the Japanese space agency and other industrial partners in Japan. This MOU will create the environment for new opportunities for companies like MDA, and strengthen this important relationship.

MDA looks forward to growing its business ties in Japan, particularly in the area of communications, space exploration and Earth observation.

The MOU builds upon the Canada-Japan S&T Cooperation Agreement signed in 1986.