Business

Vietnam to get Japan's first exported Earth observation satellite as part of disaster prevention initiative

JIJI

A Japan-developed weather satellite will be exported to Vietnam under a Japanese public-private initiative, it was learned Wednesday.

Representatives of Japan and the Vietnamese government are in the final stages of talks on the matter, according to sources.

The ¥20 billion initiative is aimed at supporting disaster prevention efforts in the emerging economy, as an increasing number of extreme climate events are occurring around the globe.

Under the initiative, general trader Sumitomo Corp. will shortly take an order for the satellite from the Vietnamese government. The satellite will be produced by NEC Corp.

The production cost will be mostly covered with low-interest yen loans from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

This is believed to be the first export of a Japanese Earth observation satellite, the sources said.

The small satellite to be exported to Vietnam was developed with support from the industry ministry. It is based on NEC’s Asnaro 2 test satellite launched in January 2018.

The new satellite, weighing about 500 kilograms, can be launched using Japan’s Epsilon solid-fuel rocket.

Vietnam is poised to introduce a satellite to monitor its climate and environment in the wake of recent rain disasters. The Southeast Asian country plans to operate one satellite initially, and is considering the introduction of a second if necessary.

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