Japan Not Planning 'Space' Cooperation with Russia

Japan is prepared to cooperate in the space area within the International Space Station (ISS) framework only for now, Japan's National Space Development Agency (NASDA) President Shuichiro Yamanouchi said in a statement on Monday. He added there were no plans laid for cooperation with Russia on the bilateral basis.

Speaking to foreign reporters the same day in Tokyo, Yamanouchi placed particular emphasis on the necessity of discussing ways of ensuring the ISS's successful performance at the international level. The recent crash of the US space shuttle Columbia must not become an obstacle to increasing international cooperation, the NASDA head pointed out.

He said Japan for its part would intensify its national space program, which is meant to demonstrate the country's high technologies. Three satellites are due to be launched this year, some for intelligence gathering purposes.