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Comment by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi

[Concerning the Launch of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No.9 (H-IIA F9)]

I am pleased to know that the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 9 (H-IIA F9) had been successfully launched from Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC) at 3:27 p.m. today, placing in orbit the Multi-functional Transport Satellite 2 (MTSAT-2).

I am delighted to see that Japan's space development efforts are making steady progress as demonstrated by the consecutive successful launches of three Launch Vehicles since the launch of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 7 in February last year, as well as that the reliability of H-IIA Launch Vehicles is clearly improving.

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.

February 18, 2006
Prime Minister of Japan
Junichiro Koizumi