Joint Statement of the United States of America and Japan on Global Positioning System Cooperation

Below is the text of a joint United States-Japan statement following their November 18, 2004 meeting:

The Government of the United States and the Government of Japan convened a plenary meeting in Washington, D.C., on November 18, 2004, to review and discuss matters of importance regarding cooperation in the civil use of the Global Positioning System (GPS). Such consultations are held regularly pursuant to the "Joint Statement on Cooperation in the Use of the Global Positioning System" issued by the then heads of the two Governments on September 22, 1998. During the meeting, representatives of both Governments reviewed the ongoing work of the U.S.-Japan working group on GPS-related technical issues and discussed various issues in the international arena related to satellite navigation.

Both Governments reconfirmed the principles contained in the 1998 Joint Statement. The U.S. Government will continue to provide the GPS Standard Positioning Service for peaceful civil, commercial, and scientific use on a continuous, worldwide basis, free of direct user fees. The Government of Japan intends to work cooperatively with the United States to ensure that a free and open Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) benefits all civil users of GPS. Both Governments believe that a free and open GNSS will assist in the further peaceful development of the Asia-Pacific region, strengthen cooperative relations between the United States and Japan, and promote global economic growth.

The Government of Japan briefed U.S. representatives on the upcoming launch of Japan’s Multi-functional Transport Satellite (MTSAT) Satellite-based Augmentation System (MSAS). The U.S. representatives look forward to the initiation of MSAS service, which is expected to provide significant benefits to GNSS users, particularly in the field of civil aviation.

The Japanese representatives also outlined Japan’s plans to construct a regional satellite positioning system, known as the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS), which will be supplementary to and interoperable with GPS. They explained that the Government of Japan and the private sector intend to develop and deploy QZSS according to the schedule and to work cooperatively with the United States to ensure that it benefits all GPS civil users.

The U.S. representatives expressed strong support for Japan’s plans to develop the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System, which has the potential to provide significantly improved regional service to positioning, timing, and navigation users in Japan and surrounding areas. QZSS will strengthen cooperative relations between the United States and Japan, accelerate Japan’s leadership in space technology, provide new economic and public transportation safety benefits to Japan and its neighbors, and contribute to the peaceful development of the Asia-Pacific region. The United States looks forward to continued close cooperation in support of Japan’s efforts to make QZSS a reality.