The 20th Session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum(APRSAF-20), Hanoi, Vietnam, December 3-6, 2013
The twentieth session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-20) successfully concluded its 4-day program on Friday, December 6, 2013, in Hanoi, Vietnam. Approximately 420 participants from 28 countries and 8 international organizations attended the session.
APRSAF-20, as was the case in the past, consisted of four working group sessions that were held in parallel and the plenary. There were also relevant events in conjunction with APRSAF-20.
At the plenary session on Day 3, December 5, opening remarks were made by Prof. Chau Van Minh, President, The Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST), Vietnam and Dr. Keisuke Isogai, Deputy Director General, Research and Development Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan, and Keynote addresses were delivered by Prof. Nguyen Khoa Son, Chairman, National Research Program for Space Science and Technology, Vietnam and Mr. Eigo Nomura, Counsellor, Office of National Space Policy, Cabinet Office, Japan.
Following opening remarks and keynote addresses, there were also activity reports from countries in the Asia-Pacific region, progressive reports from working groups and initiatives, and special speeches on possible future space cooperation such as asteroid observation and exploration, and on the importance of making international rules on space environment. At the end of the plenary session, the participants of APRSAF-20 endorsed further discussion by the Executive Committee(ExCom) to renovate the framework of working groups to create more socio-economic outcome. The discussion will be reflected in the next session of APRSAF.
In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of APRSAF, a special session was held as part of the Plenary, with the participation of heads of space agencies in the Asia-Pacific region and of former organizers of APRSAF, such as Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam, addressing the theme of APRSAF-20 "Values From Space: 20 Years of Asia-Pacific region." The session was concluded announcing the release of the Joint Statement, which was to reaffirm that, through the framework of APRSAF, significant progress in space cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region has been made and that we are committed to continuously expand space activities and their applications for socio-economic development in the region. Another special event was moderated by Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, introducing space experiments on the International Space Station(ISS) by Vietnam and Malaysia and confirming that the utilization of the Japanese Experimental Module "Kibo" is open to every country in the Asia-Pacific region. During the event, the message from Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata onboard ISS, who had deployed the Vietnamese cubesat "PicoDragon" from Kibo in the ISS, was delivered.
It was announced at the end of the plenary session that the next session, APRSAF-21, would take place in Tokyo, Japan.