Japanese and Italian experts called Tuesday for continued efforts to build bilateral cooperation in astronautics at a symposium on space science in Tokyo.

The gathering, titled “Italy-Japan Cooperation in Space Science,” was sponsored by the Italian Embassy to mark the renewal the previous day of the Cooperation Agreement between the Japanese Institute of Space and Astronautical Science and the Italian Istituto per L’energetica e Le Interfasi.

The decade-long bilateral pact has led to improved rocket propulsion and sophisticated methods for measuring propellant temperatures, as well as the development of the new Italian Vega rocket and Japan’s M-V, they said.

Now good for three more years, the cooperation pact is one of the most important on space science that Italy and Japan have signed, said Angelo Volpi, scientific attache with the Italian Embassy.

“And I’m confident that the friendship and cooperation will go on further,” Volpi said.

Keynote speaker Ryojiro Akiba, a former ISAS director general, stressed how important it is for the private sector that both countries play more active roles in promoting space science in the 21st century.

Thirteen other experts from both countries participated in the symposium, which aims to extend the scope of industrial cooperation in astronautics between the two countries.

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