Japan joins U.S.-led pact for space exploration, resource extraction

Kyodok -- Oct 14
Japan joined a U.S.-led international agreement Wednesday that outlines the exploration and utilization of resources in space, the government said.

The Artemis Accords proposed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration seeks to establish a set of principles for space exploration including lunar resource extraction. China and Russia are not members of the framework.

The agreement also covers issues regarding space debris and stipulates that its members, including Australia, Britain, Canada and Italy, will not interfere with their counterparts' endeavors on the Moon.

"I hope it will become a guide to implementing future international regulations," said science and technology minister Shinji Inoue in a video message to an online signing ceremony.

Some countries have set their sights on water ice at the Moon's poles for creation of hydrogen fuel.

- Kyodok