July 5, 2017 | German delegation completes marathon rounds of talks in Japan

Strengthening relationships

  • A large German industrial delegation headed by the DLR Space Administration is visiting Japan from 3 to 7 July 2017.
  • A marathon of talks with high-ranking partners from politics and industry will take place.
  • Focus: Space, digitalisation, Industry 4.0

People from Japan and Germany are frequently said to possess very similar character traits: dedication, discipline, thoroughness, reliability, conscientiousness and technology-driven. These attributes are important prerequisites for success in the space sector. So, while around 9000 kilometres may lie between the two countries, Germany and Japan have very similar goals: "The space industry is strategically important in both countries, and although smaller compared to the United States or Russia, it represents a steadily growing sector. Germany and Japan can benefit from numerous synergies by cooperating closely," emphasised Gerd Gruppe, Executive Board Member responsible for the Space Administration at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR). A delegation of representatives from the German space industry is visiting Japan from 3 to 7 July 2017 under the auspices of DLR, which is using this trip to continue strengthening its already positive relationship with Japan. Indeed, Gruppe already travelled to Tokyo with delegations from industry in 2014 and 2015.

Japan and Germany – equal partners

"Japan and Germany appear to be predestined for a partnership of equals. They are both technologically advanced nations and have similar economic situations. As is the case everywhere else in the world, their space sectors are facing increasing competition. This is a good reason to search for programmatic similarities," explained Gruppe. Driven by strong economic policies, the Japanese space sector is focusing on achieving better commercial exploitation. Like Germany, Japan is increasingly placing its trust in space applications, such as Earth observation, satellite-based navigation and telecommunications, in addition to innovative technologies and manufacturing systems in accordance with Industry 4.0 standards. The economic potential inherent in these areas in the digital age is apparent in the stronger commitment of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), which now shares responsibility for the space sector with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). In Germany, the space sector is part of the portfolio of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) – fertile ground for a meeting between representatives of the German and Japanese space industries.

Marathon talks at the highest level

The German delegation consists of DLR staff members and representatives of the following companies: Active Space Technologies, Airbus Defence and Space, Astro- und Feinwerktechnik Adlershof GmbH, DSI Informationstechnik GmbH, ECM – Engineered Ceramic Materials GmbH, von Hoerner & Sulger GmbH, Jena-Optronik GmbH, JKIC, Kastanienbaum / Franka GmbH, OHB System AG, Rostock System-Technik GmbH and ViaLight Communications GmbH. They are completing exhaustive rounds of talks with their high-level hosts against this backdrop. Among others, the DLR delegation will meet with Yosuke Tsuruho, Japan Minister of State for Science, Technology and Space Policy, Naoki Okumura, President of the Japan Space Agency JAXA, Masanori Tsuruda, Director of the Space Industry Office at MEXT, as well as senior representatives of the important Japan Business Federation Keidanren and the Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies (SJAC). The German space industry delegates will also meet with their Japanese counterparts to discuss areas of potential cooperation, on the initiative of DLR and JAXA.


Martin Fleischmann

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
German Space Agency at DLR
Communications & Media Relations
Königswinterer Straße 522-524, 53227 Bonn
Tel: +49 228 447-120

Dr. Hendrik Fischer

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Space Administration, Strategy and Communication
Linder Höhe, 51147 Köln

Niklas Reinke

Head Tokyo office