Japanese Basic Plan for Space Policy
This government document outlines the fundamental principles and goals of Japan's space policy. Find the full version here: https://www8.cao.go.jp/space/english/basicplan/2020/abstract_0701.pdf
Today, the role of space systems becomes more important than ever, in the context of our national security, economy, and society. This trend is likely to further develop in the years to come. Under these circumstances, we are entering an era, in which space activities are driven by public-private collaborations instead of conventional government-led initiatives. As a result, wide-ranging fields of industries are being invigorated through space utilization. Moreover, progress in space exploration expands the sphere of human activities beyond the earth’s orbit to reach the lunar surface, and further beyond into deep space. The space becomes more important as a frontier of science and technology, and as a driving force for economic growth. It has also potential to be a major driver for the economic growth of Japan.
On the other hand, space security is a matter of urgency, as an increasing number of countries, including the United States, regard outer space as a “Warfighting Domain” or an “Operational Domain”, while there is suggestion of the increasing threats in outer space, including the development of various means of disruption, not limited to destruction of satellites by missile strikes or other ways as has been discussed. In addition, a growing number of small and micro-satellites constellations is growing as a “game changer” in the space industry. Japan’s space equipment industry is, however, lagging behind these trends. While space-related technologies are undergoing a rapid evolution, the reinforcement of the industrial, scientific and technological basis is an immediate challenge to maintain the autonomy of space activities that Japan has built up since the end of the Second World War.
The Government of Japan, recognizing such huge potential of outer space and the severe situation that it is facing, hereby decides a basic plan on space policy for coming ten years with the view of the next two decades, and will secure sufficient budgetary allotments and other necessary resources, and effectively and efficiently utilize these resources to strengthen its space policy through the whole-of-government- approach, while promoting public-private collaborations.
For the time being, Japan faces one of the worst socio-economic challenges ever in the postwar era, posed by the impact of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). While the response to this crisis is the highest priority in the current situation, it is necessary to build a resilient social structure foreseeing the future especially in such time. Space systems providing positioning, and timing information, images, communication and other functions, are expected to further contribute to the society and economy, since they constitute the basis for a digitalized and remotely-controlled society, with ensuring the safety.
On the other hand, the basis of our space industry, including local and start-up business has been considerably damaged by the severe situation surrounding our economy and society. Therefore the Government of Japan needs to continuously support its maintenance and growth with a view to ensuring sustainable development of the space systems.
Moreover, particularly in such a difficult time, it is important to pursue initiatives with a long-term perspective which gives hopes to people. Through exploring the intellectual horizon, Japan needs to continue making its best endeavor on the frontiers of outer space.
Share your reflections on the full Japanese strategy here: https://www.biedsociety.com/forum/space/space-strategies-and-capabilities