The office of international relations (OIR) works for NAOJ so that NAOJ becomes not only "the international gateway in Japan" but also "the international hub in the world" in the astronomy community.
Large international projects, such as the Subaru Telescope, ALMA, Hinode, RISE, East Asia VLBI, and even individual research projects are impossible to perform without international collaboration.
Collaboration aiming at these researches is a way of the traditional international cooperation of NAOJ.
The ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) Project is a global partnership among East Asia, Europe, and North America in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The project constructs and operates an ultra-high performance radio telescope consisting of fifty 12-m high-precision antennas and sixteen high-precision antennas in the Chilean Andes at 5000m high.
Since the performance of VLBI observation networks improves proportionally to the square of the number of participating stations, we plan to establish a network involving stations in Japan, South Korea, and China to improve the performance of VLBI observation networks. It's called "East Asia VLBI" network. The 19 radio telescope stations make up the VLBI observation network.
The Hinode is a highly sophisticated observational satellite equipped with three advanced solar telescopes. It was launched on 22 September 2006 UT. The Hinode Science Center is located at NAOJ. It addresses the following key questions in solar physics : (1) Why does a hot corona exist above the cool atmosphere?, (2) What drives explosive events such as solar flares?, and (3) What creates the Sun's magnetic fields?
The Suprime-Cam is a wide field and sharp camera on a large aperture Subaru telescope had been unique and enabled many new discoveries. It promoted great progress in understanding galaxy formations in early universe and led to new mysteries emerge, such as dark energy. It's time to build Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) whose field of view is seven times wider than that of Suprime-Cam, in order to tackle new mysteries.
The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is a planning and designing telescope. It eventually will become the most advanced and powerful optical telescope on Earth. NAOJ has been a participating institution of the TMT project since 2008. NAOJ TMT Project Office is now promoting Japanese participation to the TMT project.