[WORLDKINGS] Top 500 Constant World Records (P.397) Toyohiro Akiyama (Japan): First journalist to report from outer space


(worldkings.org) Akiyama launched aboard the Soyuz TM-11 mission to the Mir space station on 2 December 1990 along with mission commander Viktor Afanasyev and flight engineer Musa Manarov. On January 12, 2023, World Records Union (WorldKings) officially declared Toyohiro Akiyama as the "First journalist to report from outer space."

Based on the world record nomination from Asia Records Institute (ASRI) and Decision No.WK/USA.INDIA/951/2023/No.407, World Records Union (WorldKings) officially declared Toyohiro Akiyama as the "First journalist to report from outer space” on January 12, 2023.

Toyohiro Akiyama (born 22 July 1942) is a retired Japanese TV journalist and professor at Kyoto University of Art and Design. In December 1990, he spent seven days aboard the Mir space station.


Akiyama attended and earned his bachelor's degree at the International Christian University located in Mitaka, Tokyo. He then joined the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) as a journalist in 1966. He worked for the BBC World Service from 1967–1971 before becoming a correspondent for the TBS Division of Foreign News. From 1984 to 1988, he served as TBS chief correspondent in Washington D.C.

On August 17, 1989, Akiyama was selected for a commercial Soviet-Japanese flight. The flight was sponsored by the TBS Corporation to celebrate its fortieth anniversary. The amount that the corporation paid for the flight of its employee differs significantly from one source to another (28 million US dollars, 25 million, 5 billion yen or 37 million US dollars). Akiyama started training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in October 1989.


TBS wanted to send the first Japanese to space in order to boost their TV ratings. 163 TBS employees applied for the opportunity to fly to space. Eventually, Akiyama and camerawoman Ryoko Kikuchi were selected as the two final candidates.

He became the first person of Japanese nationality to fly in space, and his space mission was the second spaceflight to be commercially sponsored and funded. Akiyama was also the first civilian to use commercial space flight, and the first journalist to report from outer space. During his time aboard Mir, Akiyama gave live reports each day documenting life aboard the station.

According to wikipedia

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