Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing this letter to inform you of the rescheduled operation of
the Geostationary Meteorological Satellite GMS-5.

The GMS-5 had been operated satisfactorily beyond its designed lifetime
of five years since its launch in March 1995.  However, a substantive
problem arose in June 2000; the torque of the motor of the VISSR scan
mirror unit increased and reached the criterion for the operation change
at the mirror position for scanning the southernmost portion of the
observation area.  Accordingly, an action was taken to cut off the
observation for the southernmost latitudes on 5 June 2000.

The motor torque around the south end of the picturing increased
steadily even after this action and has recently reached the said
criterion, again.  In view of the requirement for the GMS-5 to continue
its operation until the takeover by the Multi-functional Transport
Satellite-1R (MTSAT-1R) in the summer of 2003, the Japan Meteorological
Agency (JMA) has decided to introduce further reduction of the VISSR
observation of the GMS-5.

As from 0100UTC on 4 July 2001, the observation area will be reduced
further in the south end latitudes and the observation frequency for the
southern hemisphere will be also decreased as follows.

a) Full disk picturing;
sixteen times at 0000, 0300, 0500, 0530, 0600, 0900, 1100, 1130, 1200,
1500, 1700, 1730, 1800, 2100, 2300, 2330 UTC.
the south end of the observation area is around 49íS. 
b) Northern hemisphere picturing;
twelve times at 0100, 0200, 0400, 0700, 0800, 1000, 1300, 1400, 1600,
1900, 2000, 2200 UTC.

It is our anticipation that this reduction in observation will
successfully lead the GMS-5 to be functional without interruption
between observations of the GMS-5 and the MTSAT-1R.  In case of
unforeseen occurrence, however, I will give further notice to you in a
timely manner.

Although the present reduction of operation of the GMS-5 will have
impacts for your meteorological services, I wish to have your kind
understanding and cooperation on our measure.

Yours sincerely,
( Koji YAMAMOTO )
Director-General and Permanent Representative of Japan with WMO