From 29 July to 2 August 2019, Walther Pelzer, Member of the Executive Board responsible for the Space Administration at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), was in Tokyo to hold strategic talks on bilateral and European–Japanese cooperation in aerospace with the DLR’s Japanese partners. The trip also helped to consolidate existing contacts between German companies and the Japanese aerospace industry. In addition, the German delegation from DLR sought to strengthen the political foundation for ongoing and future industrial cooperation activities.
Pelzer met with representatives of the National Space Policy Secretariat, from the Cabinet Office of the Goverment of Japan, and sat down with members of the Japanese Ministry of Science and Industry, the Japanese space agency JAXA, and KEIDANREN, the umbrella association for Japanese industry. The DLR Board Member also held talks with the Japanese aerospace association SJAC and the companies MHI and NEC, whose facilities he visited.
The overarching areas of focus for the trip included the future of human spaceflight and the launcher market, New Space, ongoing cooperation in space research, and security policy aspects of space travel. Given that the planned maiden flights of the Ariane 6 and the Japanese H3 rocket will take place almost simultaneously, launcher systems were of particular interest to both parties. The same applied to technology for removing space debris, which the Japanese government has placed on the agenda for the G20 countries.