During his working visit to Japan between 19 and 21 April, Deputy Prime Minister Étienne Schneider met with the Japanese minister of education, culture, sports, science and technology, Toshiei Mizuochi and Japan’s space minister, Yosuke Tsuruho, to discuss potential cooperation between Japan and Luxembourg as part of the SpaceResources.lu initiative.

During the meetings, Etienne Schneider called for a multilateral agreement on the exploration and use of space resources. 

"Technological progress will give access to sources of energy and raw materials outside the earth's atmosphere, in particular the resources available on millions of asteroids that gravitate around the solar system. In order to avoid in the future any colonisation of space by one or the other world power, the "Outer Space Treaty", the UN space treaty signed in 1967, will have to be adapted to realities by explicitly regulating the exploration and peaceful exploitation of space resources, as well as responsibility for space debris,” said Minister Schneider.  

He added that with a view to advancing a review at the UN level, he wants to see an international consensus through the realisation of a multilateral agreement by all the countries sharing the same point of view on the subject.  

“The convergence of interests and technological synergies between the different countries will make the development of this new economic branch progress in a sustainable and equitable way,” said the deputy prime minister.

In order to identify opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in the exploration and use of space resources, in particular through synergies in the field of research, Minister Schneider met with the president of the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA), Dr. Naoki Okumura, who invited Luxembourg to participate in the second International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF2), to be held in Tokyo in March 2018.

Image: Etienne Schneider, with Technology Minister Toshiei Mizuochi.