Toyohiro Akiyama
is a Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese TV journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

 best known for his flight to the Mir
Mir was a space station operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, at first by the Soviet Union and then by Russia. Assembled in orbit from 1986 to 1996, Mir was the first modular space station and had a greater mass than that of any previous spacecraft, holding the record for the...

 space station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft
Soyuz spacecraft
Soyuz , Union) is a series of spacecraft initially designed for the Soviet space programme by the Korolyov Design Bureau in the 1960s, and still in service today...

 in 1990. Akiyama is the first person of Japanese
Japanese people
The are an ethnic group originating in the Japanese archipelago and are the predominant ethnic group of Japan. Worldwide, approximately 130 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 127 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live in other countries...

 descent to have flown in space. He was known as the "Space Journalist"(宇宙特派員) in Japan.

Education and career

Akiyama attended and earned his bachelor's degree
Bachelor's degree
A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

 at the International Christian University
International Christian University
There are several rankings related to ICU, shown below.-Alumni rankings:According to the Weekly Economist's 2010 rankings and the PRESIDENT's article on 2006/10/16, graduates from ICU have the 24th best employment rate in 400 major companies, and their average graduate salary is the 4th best in...

 located in Mitaka, Tokyo
Mitaka, Tokyo
is a city located in Tokyo, Japan. As of 1 November 2010, the city has an estimated population of 176,737. The total area is 16.50 km² and is about 50 – 55 meters above sea level...

. He then joined TBS
Tokyo Broadcasting System
, TBS Holdings, Inc. or TBSHD, is a stockholding company in Tokyo, Japan. It is a parent company of a television network named and radio network named ....

 as a journalist in 1966. He worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation World Service from 1967-1971 before becoming a correspondent for the TBS Division of Foreign News. From 1984 to 1988, Akiyama served as TBS chief correspondent in Washington D.C..


Akiyama was selected for cosmonaut training in August 1989 in a deal between TBS and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. Akiyama's flight became the first commercially organized spaceflight in history.

After successfully completing a Research Cosmonaut training course at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in present-day Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Akiyama launched aboard the Soyuz TM-11
Soyuz TM-11
-Mission highlights:Soyuz TM-11 was launched the same day as STS-35.11th expedition to Mir. Toyohiro Akiyama was a reporter/space tourist for a Japanese television network....

 mission to the Mir space station on December 2, 1990 along with mission commander Viktor Afanasyev and flight engineer Musa Manarov. During his time aboard Mir, Akiyama gave live reports each day documenting life aboard the station. He returned just over a week later aboard Soyuz TM-10
Soyuz TM-10
-Mission highlights:TM-10 marked the return to earth of Japanese reporter Toyohiro Akiyama.The Soyuz arrived at Mir's aft port with four passengers: quail for cages in Kvant-2. A quail had laid an egg en route to the station. It was returned to Earth, along with 130 kg of experiment results...

 along with Gennadi Manakov
Gennadi Manakov
Gennadi Mikhailovich Manakov is a former cosmonaut that commanded two Soyuz flights.Mankov was born in Yefimovka, Orenburg Oblast, Russian SFSR on June 1, 1950. He was selected as a Fluffer on September 2, 1985 and flew as Commander on Soyuz TM-10 and Soyuz TM-16, retiring on December 20, 1996. He...

 and Gennady Strekalov
Gennady Strekalov
Gennadi Mikhailovich Strekalov was an Instructor-Test-Cosmonaut and Department Head at Russian aerospace firm RSC Energia. He has been decorated twice as Hero of the Soviet Union...

 on December 10. Akiyama's mission marked the first flight of a person of Japanese descent in space as well as the first commercially sponsored and funded spaceflight of an individual in history.

Later career and retirement

Akiyama returned to TBS after completing his spaceflight and became deputy director of the TBS News Division. He then retired from TBS in 1995.

Akiyama is married and has two children.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.