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Increasing Norwegian-Japanese space research cooperation in polar regions

The Japan-Norway Symposium on Space Sciences in Polar Regions is the product of a collaborative effort between the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Japan’s largest research-funding body, and the Research Council of Norway. The symposium in Oslo in June was organised by Professor Jøran Moen of the University of Oslo and Professor Ryoichi Fujii of Nagoya University.

The symposium programme included sessions on research in the Arctic and Antarctica, on the sun and solar activity as well as on solar wind interaction with the magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere, using land-based systems, rockets, satellites and simulations.

JSPS JSPS and Research Council met before the symposium. From left to right: Ole Petter Ottersen (UiO), Arvid Hallén, Thomas Hansteen, Yuichiro Anzai and Noriko Sediko (Foto:Kristen Ulstein)

Joining forces to fund major infrastructure

“Space research in the polar regions requires detailed planning, long-term thinking, large-scale infrastructure and a lot of coordination. This symposium is an important arena for exchanging information about our plans and exploring the potential for joint financing,” states Director General Arvid Hallén of the Research Council of Norway.

Norway and Japan presently work together on polar-related space research activities involving the EISCAT radar systems, atmospheric studies using sounding rockets launched from Andøya and a Japan Aerospace Exploration Satellite (JAXA) satellite for studying solar physics. Japan has been a member of the EISCAT Scientific Association since 1996 and provided funding that was critical to the establishment of the EISCAT Svalbard Radar with two antennae near Longyearbyen.

Promoting research exchange

Both countries are focusing increasing attention on the need for international research exchange. “Collaboration with international partners is growing more and more essential to research success and Japan is one of Norway’s priority partner countries in this field,” announced Arvid Hallén at the opening of the symposium.

In his speech, JSPS President Yuichiro Anzai pointed to the scope of exchange currently taking place today between Norway and Japan. “The Nordic countries are essential to our international research collaboration. We would really like to encourage many more Norwegian researchers to carry out a research stay in Japan,” stated Dr Anzai.

 

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