MOSCOW, May 26. /TASS/. Teamwork of Russian cosmonauts and Japanese astronauts in space creates a necessary atmosphere for collaboration on the Earth, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday in a video call to the International Space Station.
"You have done more than 50 experiments and research projects, solving problems in space. You create an amazing and necessary atmosphere for solving our problems here, on the Earth," Putin told Russian cosmonaut, ISS Expedition 55 commander Anton Shkaplerov and Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai, who are on mission aboard the space station.
Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke to the ISS from the St. Andrew Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace, where a large television screen had been installed for the video linkup. Dmitry Rogozin, who was appointed head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos on May 24, was also present.
"Japan makes a considerable contribution to the International Space Station, as not only Japanese nationals and researchers work in space but also Japanese specialists do a large amount of research and there is a huge amount of equipment," Putin said.
The Japanese prime minister noted the significance of the two countries’ space cooperation, assuring "it will be continued." He told the ISS crew about Saturday’s talks with Putin which focused on further cooperation between Moscow and Tokyo.
"Russia boasts a lengthy history of space exploration but Japan has developed own technology to do research in outer space, so one plus one equals not to two, but to three or even four. Cooperation pays off greatly," Norishige Kanai said.
Commander Anton Shkaplerov pointed out that the mission would go ahead during the cross years of Russia and Japan which the two leaders would start on May 26.
"Cultural exchanges help develop understanding between our peoples. The ISS is an international space platform where representatives of lots countries work side by side. Our joint research base is located 400 kilometers from the Earth and exists due to coordinated interaction of Russia, Japan, the United States, Canada and European countries," the cosmonaut said.
Shkaplerov reminded that in 2018 the ISS would mark its 20th anniversary and added he was thrilled this year would be a cross year for Russia and Japan.