Place: the Embassy of Japan in the UK

Date: 6 December 2013, Friday, 13:00-19:00 followed by a reception


This year is the 150th anniversary of the first exchange of scholars between Japan and the UK. In the late stage of the Samurai period, five Japanese students, the ‘Choshu Five’, arrived at UCL, one of whom, Hirobumi Ito, later became the first prime minister of Japan. Since then, Japan and the UK have exchanged scholars and developed collaborative work across many fields including Science, Technology and Innovation. One of the fields that has a long history of collaboration is astronomy and space science. These links were formed when the Royal Greenwich Observatory supported Makoto Hirayama for his studies in astronomy in 1890; later he became the director of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, helping smooth the way for his successors. Nowadays, our two countries have established a number of international projects which are aimed at solving frontier problems in astronomy and space science. To strengthen such cooperation, during Prime Minister Cameron’s visit to Japan in April 2012, the UK and Japanese Governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for wider cooperation on space-related activities for the two countries’ mutual benefit. ‘150 years of UK-Japan Collaboration: Science, Technology and Innovation Symposium – Astronomy & Space Science’ will highlight past, current and possible future collaboration in astronomy and space science, covering a wide range of research topics, from the sun to cosmology. The symposium is a part of “The Japan-UK Science, Technology & Innovation Symposium 2013” series, supported by the Embassy of Japan in London.



Prof Grahame Blair (Exective Director of Programmes, Science & Technology Facilities Council)

Prof Saku Tsuneta (Director of Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)

Dr David Parker (CEO of UK Space Agency)

Prof Louise Harra (Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London)

Prof Giovanna Tinetti (Physics & Astronomy, University College London)

Prof Chris Done (Durham Univeristy)

Dr Andrew Bunker (University of Oxford)

Prof Bob Nichol (Portsmouth University)

Mr Atsushi Murakami (Deputy Genaral Manager, Sales & Marketing Department, IHI)

Prof Hitoshi Murayama (UC Berkeley, Director of Kavli-IPMU, University of Tokyo)


12:30-13:00 Welcome Tea and Coffee

13:00-13:10 Prof Len Culhane (Former Director of Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London), Opening Remarks 

The UK-Japan Space Science Missions

13:10-13:25 Prof Grahame Blair, STFC's support to Astronomy & Space Science

13:25-14:00 Dr David Parker, The UK Space Science Mission

14:00-14:35 Prof Saku Tsuneta, Japanese Space Science Mission

14:35-14:50 Mr Atsushi Murakami, Epsilon Launch System

14:50-15:00 Tea time

15:00-15:05 The Ambassador of Japan, Welcome Speech

Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Science: Highlighting the UK-Japan Collaborations

15:05-15:40 Prof Louise Harra, Exploring activity on the Sun

15:40-16:15 Prof Giovanna Tinetti, The Exoplanet Revolution

16:15-16:50 Prof Chris Done, Black Holes and Active Galactic Nuclei

16:50-17:00 Tea time

17:00-17:35 Dr Andrew Bunker, The First Billion Years of History - Finding the most distant galaxies with the largest telescopes

17:35-18:10 Prof Bob Nichol, Galaxy Survey and Cosmology

18:10-18:45 Prof Hitoshi Murayama, What is dark matter?

18:45-18:55 Lord Martin Rees (Astronomer Royal, Fellow of Trinity College and Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics, the University of Cambridge), Concluding Remarks 

19:00-20:30  Japanese Food Reception

The registration is closed. 

Please print and bring your ticket. All visitors to the Embassy are required to show photo ID and the event ticket.

The dress code for this event is smart casual


British Embassy Tokyo / UK Science & Innovation Network

The Embassy of Japan in the UK

The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

UK Space Agency


Daisuke Kawata (MSSL, UCL, co-chair), Chiaki Kobayashi (Hertfordshire), Shiho Kobayashi (Liverpool JM), Kazuya Koyama (Portsmouth), Mikako Matsuura (P&A, UCL), Atsushi Oku (the Embassy of Japan in the UK, co-chair)

Symposium Poster