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In 1969, Japan and the U.S. signed a first agreement on space technology cooperation. Over the decades since, as Japan has developed a unique, successful and competitive portfolio of space activities, the country has become a critically important collaborator in the aerospace sector with the United States and other global partners.
At the same time, the commercialization of space and expansion of public-private partnerships are also supporting -- and often accelerating -- renewed commitments to research and development by our national space agencies, JAXA and NASA.
In light of this movement, during the seventh meeting of the Japan-U.S. Comprehensive Dialogue on Space in 2020, both countries renewed their strong determination to expand bilateral cooperation in a variety of areas including space security, international rule-making, space situation awareness, space exploration, commercial space activities, and global navigation satellite systems.
In this special discussion, hosted by JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles, the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, views from top government and private sector leaders in the field on how Japan and the U.S. can work together on opening-up the vast final frontier of human exploration and commercial activity are shared.
*To watch the video in full screen, please click on the image above, then click on the YouTube icon on the lower right-hand corner.
Eisuke Tanabe | Director, Strategic Planning Division, The Ministry of Defense of Japan
Eisuke Tanabe is Director, Strategic Planning Division, the Ministry of Defense of Japan, and leading the ministry’s space policy. Since 1997, he served in various positions in the MoD as well as the Cabinet Secretariat, with a focus on Japan-U.S. defense cooperation.
In his previous position as Director, Import Division in Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency (ATLA), he was devoted to rationalization of Japan’s procurement of US military articles and services through Foreign Military Sales (FMS). He received Bachelor of Law from the University of Tokyo, and Master of Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Most recently he was a member of Royal College of Defence Studies of United Kingdom. He is married and has a daughter and a son.
Lt. Gen. Larry D. James USAF (Ret.) | Interim Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Larry D. James was appointed Interim Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in August 2021. Prior to this he was the Laboratory’s Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer. At JPL, he is the Laboratory's Chief Executive Officer responsible for the day-to-day management of JPL's resources and activities.
This includes managing the Laboratory's solar system exploration, Mars, astronomy, physics, Earth science, interplanetary network programs, and all business operations. These activities employ 6000 scientists, engineers, technicians, and business support personnel, generating $2.6 billion in annual revenues.
Prior to his retirement from the Air Force in 2013, Lt. Gen. James was the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance at the Pentagon. He was responsible to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force for policy formulation, planning, evaluation, oversight, and leadership of Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and led more than 20,000 Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance officers, enlisted and civilians across the Air Force ISR Enterprise.
Lt. Gen. James received his Bachelor of Science in Astronautical Engineering (1978) from the US Air Force Academy (Distinguished Graduate) and his Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics (1983) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA. He was also a Draper Fellow at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge MA.
Kazutsuna Hebiishi | Director, Department of Space Systems Division, NEC Corporation
Kazutsuna Hebiishi is currently a head of a satellite system development department of Space Systems Division at NEC Corporation which is one of the leading companies in Japan’s space industry. He has a wide experience in commercial launch business, satellite communications engineering, and development, marketing and sales promotion of remote sensing satellites.
Takeshi Hakamada | Founder & CEO, ispace
Inspired by Star Wars as a child, Takeshi Hakamada set out to pursue a life focused on space exploration. He went on to earn a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech, where he was involved in the conceptual design of next-generation aerospace systems.
Starting in 2010, while working for a management consulting firm, he worked part-time to lead the Japanese team, HAKUTO, one of the finalists for the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition, and changed the team’s management to ispace, inc. As Founder & CEO of ispace, Takeshi has raised record fundraising for the company and is now leading a multinational commercial lunar exploration program, known as HAKUTO-R. An active proponent for the commercial space industry, Takeshi is guiding ispace to continuously challenge itself to enable humans to establish a sustainable ecosystem between the Earth and the Moon by unlocking the utilization of space resources.