The signing of a joint statement expanding the partnership between the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in 2014 has opened the door to new long-term cooperative efforts in outer space technology between Vietnam and Japan.

Accordingly, the two sides are making joint efforts to ensure the progress of infrastructure development and high-quality human resources training in Vietnam to produce one of the leading space centres in Southeast Asia.

The pair will make full use of their respective skills and resources for future collaboration in remote sensing, small satellite production, global satellite positioning system application, and ensuring the construction progress of the Vietnam Space Centre project in Hoa Lac hi-tech park in Hanoi, which began in September 2012.

The project is the crux of the aerospace technological application and research strategy of Vietnam through 2020, with a total investment of 54 billion JPY (over 452 million USD) primarily sourced from the official development assistance (ODA) of the Japanese Government.

It consists of three main components: technical infrastructure and equipment; receiving and transferring technology; and human resources training.

Once operational in 2020, the centre will master small earth observation satellite technology, observe the entire territory of Vietnam unimpeded by weather conditions through the use of modern radar technology, and most importantly, facilitate the building and analysis of satellite photo data used for monitoring and early warning detection of natural disasters.

Vietnam and Japan have strengthened cooperation in outer space science and technology since 2006. Hundreds of Vietnamese scientists and IT experts received training at Japanese science and technology institutes, Tokyo University, and Osaka University, over the past decade.

The two countries also successfully co-organised the 20th Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) conference in Hanoi in 2013.

The bilateral collaboration has also expanded and deepened over the past 40 years in economics, education, training, and other fields.

In recent years, Japan has become a key strategic partner to Vietnam across sectors, especially in ODA provision and investment.-VNA