Japan, US sign framework agreement on space cooperation

The Japanese and US governments have signed an agreement aiming for swift cooperation in space.

Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed the "Framework Agreement between Japan and the United States of America for Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space" at NASA headquarters in Washington.

Japan's Foreign Ministry says the agreement sets forth the basic terms and conditions for Japan-US space cooperation for peaceful purposes.

It will be formalized after domestic procedures are carried out.

Japan has participated in the US-led Artemis program, which aims to send astronauts to the moon for exploration purposes.

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio attended the signing ceremony. He said the Artemis program took bilateral cooperation to new heights.

He added he expects the agreement to promote Japan-US space cooperation and bolster the two nations' alliance, which now is stronger than ever.