Awards Ceremony for the Sixth Space Exploitation Prize

March 12, 2024

[Provisional translation]


On March 12, 2024, Prime Minister Kishida attended the awards ceremony for the Sixth Space Exploitation Prize held in Tokyo.
Prime Minister Kishida said in his address:
“I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to all the winners of the Sixth Space Exploitation Prize.
Sagri Co., Ltd, the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award this time, is a start-up which takes on a bold challenge of utilizing space data in the agriculture sector.
The company received the award for its highly evaluated attempts to make use of space and artificial intelligence (AI), solve agricultural issues in the global arena, and realize the coexistence of humanity and the Earth.
I heard Mr. Tsuboi, who leads the company, has dreamed of becoming an astronaut and developing a space elevator since childhood. Once again, I would like to express my respect for his tireless efforts.
This round of prize recognized other various achievements, including a business to utilize a constellation of small satellites for disaster response, an initiative for early detection of forest fires in Asia from space, and development of an environmentally-friendly space engine with water as a propellant.
As for me, seeing a lunar rock at the Osaka Expo in 1970 inspired a dream.
That same year, Japan successfully launched an artificial satellite named OHSUMI and became the world’s fourth country to launch one.
With around 50 years since then, the age has finally come when Japan can approach the moon on its own, as shown by the world’s first successful pinpoint landing on the lunar surface with Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), a moon landing demonstrator.
In February, Japan also succeeded in launching the second H3 Launch Vehicle on a test flight.
Thanks to the efforts by the award winners today and many other people concerned, dreams from those days have turned into reality, serving as a catalyst for next dreams of a large number of children.
The Government has a goal of doubling the market size of the space industry to eight trillion yen by the early 2030s to make it a growth industry.
We will provide vigorous support for next innovation through a Space Technology Strategy to be formulated within this month, the newly-established Space Strategy Fund, and other measures.
I do hope that you will seize boundless opportunities in the frontier called space, carrying dreams and hopes of humanity.
The Government will fully support you in taking on challenges.
Let me conclude my remarks by sincerely wishing good health and success of all those gathered here.
My sincere congratulations today.”


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