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Japanese astronaut Kanai says he got used to being in space in 5 minutes

Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai speaks during a news conference on the International Space Station on Jan. 5, 2018. (Mainichi)

Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai, who has been aboard the International Space Station (ISS) since December, told reporters in a New Year's news conference that he quickly got used to being in space.

"I was initially worried, but my body got used to being in space in just five minutes," Kanai, 41, told a news conference through the Tokyo office of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on the evening of Jan. 5.

He said he drank a toast with juice with his co-workers aboard the ISS to mark the New Year.

Kanai, who was a doctor with the Maritime Self-Defense Force and specializes in underwater medicine, pointed out that astronauts can enjoy foods in space and wash their bodies with special soap. He jokingly added that space "is more advanced than the deep sea."

Kanai has already begun experiments including one to create high-quality protein crystals in a weightless environment. "I'd like to bring back my achievements to Earth," he said.

At the end of the news conference, Kimiya Yui, 47, another Japanese astronaut, asked Kanai how he comes up with the topics he covers in his Twitter messages.

Kanai replied, "Everything I experience in my life on the ISS is new. I'd like to continue dispatching messages to Earth."

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