The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has signed new ‘terms of reference’ to establish future space cooperation with the Japan Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF).

The associated documents were signed by RAF chief of air staff air chief marshal Sir Mike Wigston and JASDF (Koku-Jietai) general Shunji Izutsu on 17 March during the defence event, DSEI Japan, in Makuhari Messe, Tokyo.

The newly signed arrangement will allow the two nations to establish a framework for ‘space engagement talks’ to pave the way for future cooperation between the JASDF and the UK Space Command.

The Space Command is a joint command and defence lead, responsible for managing space workforce, operations and capability.

It is based at RAF High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, UK. The station is operated by contractors, civil servants and multi-domain staff members from the RAF, Navy and Army.

Wigston said: “We share common values and strategic interests [with Japan], and we are working ever more closely in the face of global security challenges. The space domain is critical to our shared security and prosperity, and a vital area of cooperation, underpinned by UK Space Command and the Koku-Jietai.”

The new arrangement will further allow the two countries to undertake a wide range of collaborative exercises, personnel exchanges, combined training as well as operational knowledge-sharing activities.

In addition, this signing demonstrates the mutual interest of both nations to share space-related information by setting up separate information-sharing arrangements in the future.

UK Space Command commander air vice-marshal Paul Godfrey added: “Our international partners are our greatest advantage in the space domain. This arrangement is an important step as we build our relationship with the JASDF so that we can keep space safe, secure, and sustainable for the benefit of all.”