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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 December 18 - 24  > Civil group opposing military-academia cooperation urges JAXA to never again participate in arms trade expositions
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2019 December 18 - 24 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Civil group opposing military-academia cooperation urges JAXA to never again participate in arms trade expositions

December 18, 2019
A group of researchers and concerned citizens opposing military-academia cooperation on December 17 submitted to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) a statement criticizing the JAXA for displaying models of asteroid probes and observation satellites at weapons trade fairs and urging it to never again participate in any arms exposition.

In the statement, the group called Japanese Coalition against Military Research in Academia (AMR Japan) pointed out that JAXA in June exhibited a life-size replica of the asteroid explore “Hayabusa 2” at the international security equipment conference and exhibition Mast Asia 2019 held in Chiba. AMR Japan said that people from foreign military forces and overseas weapons industries must have recognized JAXA as a “billboard” for the promotion of Japan’s arms exports and that the agency’s act is a disappointment to children who are excited by the great space exploratory journey of Hayabusa 2.

The statement also noted that the space agency in November showed a real-size replica of the earth observing satellite “Daichi-2” at the international trade fair “DSEI Japan 2019” held in Chiba. It stressed that JAXA must not be allowed to become a “merchant of death”.

At a meeting held on the day to submit the statement to JAXA, Nagoya University Professor Emeritus Ikeuchi Satoru, who co-heads AMR Japan, pointed out that the space agency recently became a joint sponsor of a weapons exhibition. He expressed his concern that the agency is becoming increasingly linked to potential military applications and less to scientific research.

Former Kyoto Tachibana University Professor Kodera Takayuki criticized the JAXA president for making the remark that JAXA’s satellite technologies can be used for national security in a symposium hosted by the Defense Ministry’s Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency.

In response, JAXA officials said that the exhibitions of replicas at weapons fairs were part of public relations activities but that the civil group’s demand will be conveyed to the president.

Past related articles:
> Astronomy community issues statement resolving to refrain from engaging in military-related research [March 18, 2019]
> Bill to remove peaceful use of space from JAXA law approved [June 15 & 16, 2012]
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