Suva: In a historic development, USP and Japan—through the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and JICA and USPNET—had a live interaction with the Japanese astronaut, Dr. Satoshi Furukawa from 4.50-5.10am today 14th October 2011 at the Japan-Pacific ICT Centre.

Students from Suva Sangam School, where there is a Japanese volunteer, and from USP had an interesting 30 minute question and answer session with Dr. Furukawa. Students asked many interesting questions to which Dr. Furukawa responded fully and clearly.

JICA and JAXA officials were also part of the event that included media personnel from Japan and Fiji.
Live interaction with the International Space Station showed how cutting edge facilities of the Japan-Pacific ICT Centre and USPNET can reach out even to outer-space. Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor of USP, said that this once-in-a-lifetime event to see and interact with Dr. Furukawa at the ISS was a fitting demonstration of the capabilities of USPNET and its partnerships with Japan.

This is also a proud moment for Fiji as Fiji is the first country selected by JICA for interaction with the International Space Station. This showcases the benefits of networking and partnership, and the depth of the USP-Japan partnership.

The students of Suva Sangam College and USP were clearly very inspired by their interaction with Dr. Furukawa.

The Chief Representative of JICA in Fiji, Mr. Juichiro Sasaki, emphasized the importance of setting high goals, and broadening horizons. He indicated that innovations can only occur by aiming high. Mr. Sasaki also spoke of the large investment of F$80 million in the Japan-Pacific ICT Centre and his hope that the Centre will serve the region well.