Naoko Yamazaki is PR envoy of Japan Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai
Naoko Yamazaki, a former astronaut of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is a PR Ambassador for the Japan Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Yamazaki was designated to the position, along with 13 other people from different walks of life by Kajiyama Hiroshi, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry in December 2019.
In March 2010, Yamazaki flew to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the space shuttle Discovery (STS-131).
During the STS-131 mission, she supported primary tasks by operating the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System and the Space Station Remote Manipulator System.
As a loadmaster of the mission she also orchestrated cargo transfer activities between Discovery and the ISS.
Commenting on her being named a PR Ambassador for the Japan Pavilion at the six-month long Expo 2020 Dubai, Yamazaki said: “I am very honoured to be appointed as an ambassador of the Japan Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.
“There is a big connection between Japan and the United Arab Emirates in the space industry.
“In 2018, the UAE’s first domestically developed satellite, KhalifaSat, was launched from Tanegashima, from a Japanese rocket. Also, in 2020, the UAE’s first Mars orbiter, Hope, was launched from Tanegashima.
“I have visited the UAE three times so far, and have tried to promote exchange of technology and human resources. As an ambassador, I would therefore like to further connect this friendship into the future,” she added.
Yamazaki was born in 1970 in Matsudo City, Chiba, Japan.
She received a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering in 1993 and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering in 1996, both from the University of Tokyo.
Yamazaki retired from JAXA in August 2011.
She currently serves as a member of the Japan Space Policy Committee, Representative Director of Space Port Japan Association, Director of Astro Tourism, and a chairperson of ‘Sorajo’ (women in aerospace) at the Japanese Rocket Society, among other roles.