Context: A bilateral meeting took place between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) held virtually.

  • Indian and Japanese space agencies reviewed cooperation in earth observation, lunar cooperation and satellite navigation.
  • They also agreed to explore opportunities for cooperation in “space situational awareness and professional exchange programme”.
  • Both agencies signed an Implementing Arrangement for collaborative activities on rice crop area and air quality monitoring using satellite data.

India’s space collaborations

  • India and Japan are  working on a joint lunar polar exploration (LUPEX) mission that aims to send a lander and rover to the Moon’s south pole around 2024.
  • India and Australia signed an amendment to the MoU which will build on the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. 
    • Both countries are also in discussions for Australia to host vital tracking infrastructure to support the Gaganyaan manned space flight mission.
  • India and Italy decided to explore opportunities in earth observation, space science and robotic and human exploration.