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Japan Unveils Ambitious Space Strategy

On April 5, Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party’s Special Committee on Space and Ocean Development put together a proposal called “Towards a Space Security Concept and a New Basic Plan for Space.” The proposal was announced by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Minister of Finance Shunichi Suzuki, and Minister of State for Space Policy Sanae Takaichi.

The main points of the proposal are to increase the space-related budget to 1 trillion yen per year (about $7.4 billion) (note: the initial 2023 budget plus the 2022 supplementary budget is 611.9 billion yen, or about $4.52 billion), reorganize the space development headquarters into the “National Space Council,” strengthen the Space Policy Committee’s functions, and create a “Space Agency.”

The proposal also highlights the need for JAXA, Japan’s space agency, to have a strategic funding function like its European and American counterparts. This would support seed research and technology development by universities and private companies. It also suggests setting up a 1 trillion yen “Space Development Fund (tentative name)” over 10 years, which is equivalent to about $7.4 billion.

Lastly, the proposal emphasizes the need to improve space security efforts, as confidence in Japan’s rocket technology has been shaken due to a failed flagship rocket launch.

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