During his working visit to Japan from 19 to 21 April 2017, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy Étienne Schneider met with Japan’s Minister for Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Toshiei Mizuochi, and Japan’s Minister with responsibility for space policy, Yosuke Tsuruho, to discuss potential cooperation between Japan and the Grand Duchy in the context of the SpaceResources.lu initiative.
Étienne Schneider pleaded in favour of a multilateral agreement on exploration and the use of space resources:
Technological progress will provide access to sources of energy and raw materials outside the Earth’s atmosphere, particularly to the resources available on the millions of asteroids moving about in the solar system. To prevent any future colonisation of space by any one world power, the UN’s Outer Space Treaty, signed in 1967, ought to be adapted to present-day reality by laying down clear regulations on the exploration and peaceful exploitation of space resources, and on liability with regard to space debris. With the aim of making progress on a revision at the level of the UN, I want to make a first step towards international consensus by achieving a multilateral agreement signed by all the countries that share the same point of view on the subject. The convergence of interests and the technological synergies among the various countries will make this new economic branch progress in a sustainable and equitable fashion.