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Arianespace SA said it hopes to promote its satellite launch business in Japan through its partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., the top executive of the French commercial launch service provider said Tuesday in Tokyo.

Arianespace formed an alliance in 2003 with Mitsubishi Heavy, Japan’s major rocket business operator, and U.S.-based Boeing Co. to provide mutual backup of rocket launching services in case of one of them finds a problem before a planned launch.

Arianespace Chief Executive Officer Jean-Yves Le Gall, who was in Japan as part of his annual regular business trip, told a news conference the alliance is helping his firm offer more reliable services and attract more customers.

He added that Japan is an important market for the company, noting that since 1989 there have been 29 commercial satellite launches in Japan, 21 of which were handled by Arianespace.

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