Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe had a video linkup with the International Space Station (ISS). There are two Russian cosmonauts and a Japanese astronaut among the current six crew members.
The station was contacted right from St Andrew Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace. Taking part in the conversation was Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, commander of the ISS Expedition 55, and Norishige Kanai, an astronaut of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
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Video linkup with International Space Station
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends,
I am happy to greet the commander of the International Space Station crew, Russian citizen Anton Shkaplerov and onboard engineer, Japanese citizen Norishige Kanai.
I want to stress that this is far from being the first joint flight. We have been cooperating with Japan in this sphere for over a decade. Greetings to you! There have already been seven Japanese researchers in orbit. We want to wish you good luck.
Japan makes a considerable contribution to the work of the International Space Station. It is not just Japanese researchers who work in space. There is also a large amount of equipment and research conducted by Japanese specialists.
We wish you good luck!
Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe (retranslated):First of all, let me express to both cosmonauts my sincere joy that you, citizens of two countries, cosmonauts, are working jointly in space.
As President Putin said, our countries’ cooperation in space has been ongoing for a long time and will continue.
You have two flags behind you – a Russian and a Japanese flag, and we have just had talks with President Putin. We have agreed to make further efforts to develop cooperation between our countries.
I would like to use the opportunity to wish both cosmonauts to combine your efforts for future progress of space technologies.