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Comment by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi

I am pleased to know that the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 8 (H-IIA F8) had been successfully launched from Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC) at 10:33 a.m. today, placing in orbit the Advanced Land Observing Satellite ALOS "Daichi".

I am delighted to see that Japan's space development efforts are making steady progress as demonstrated by this successful launch, following the success of H-IIA Launch Vehicle No.7, as well as the remarkable achievements of Astronaut Soichi Noguchi last year and the outstanding accomplishments of asteroid explorer "HAYABUSA".

I hope that our space development efforts will continue to result in accomplishments that meet Japanese people's expectations and are commensurate with our position as a nation advanced in space activities.

January 24, 2006
Junichiro Koizumi
Prime Minister of Japan