Japan in Space Part 2 | How it will double its market size by 2030
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Japan in Space Part 2 | How it will double its market size by 2030

Japan in Space Part 2 | How it will double its market size by 2030

According to the Government’s “Space Industry Vision 2030”, it seeks to double the current estimated market size of the Japanese space industry by 2030.

While it may seem like a lofty goal, the Japanese have had a long engagement with space, and have identified 4 key areas to achieve this growth:

  • Improving access and increasing utilisation of satellite data
  • Developing international competitiveness
  • Supporting the development of New Space Business
  • Strengthening International Collaboration

As Japan has had decades of experience with space programmes, combined with these fresh initiatives Australian companies are encouraged to pursue these new business opportunities. Interestingly Japan leads the way in some specific areas of space technology development. For example, last year the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully launched the world’s smallest satellite carrying rocket into orbit.

Improving Access to Commercial Endeavours

Due to the heavy involvement of Government funded space projects there was a realisation that there was limited involvement of downstream commercial applications of satellite technologies in Japan’s private sector.

As a result the Government instituted a number of programs to address this issue:

  • Establishment of the New Enterprise Promotion Department by JAXA in 2016 in order to promote the use of JAXA’s technologies and intellectual property by SME’s for both civilian and commercial use.
  • Launch of the the Space Business Court by Japan Space Systems (JSS) A free online platform (in English as well) that assists businesses with activities ranging from consultation, application development and finding partners relating to any aspect of space related technologies.
  • Launch of the QZSS global positioning system. Australian users and developers have been encouraged to explore opportunities using the QZSS which greatly reduces positioning errors and provide a service footprint which includes Australia. Last year seminars explaining the opportunities for Australian users & developers were hosted in Australia by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and JETRO.


Developing international competitiveness through collaboration

Against a background of falling costs for space development and increasing international competition, the Japanese Government is encouraging the relevant organisations to develop closer collaboration.

The main organisations spearheading this are:

  • JAXA
  • Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) from Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)
  • Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)
  • New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO) from METI,
  • ImPACT and Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP) from Japan’s Cabinet Office

Reducing Costs | JAXA launched the world’s smallest satellite carrying rocket.

One area of decreasing costs is the result from the overall miniaturisation of satellites and the concomitant reduction in launch costs. The microsatellite market, especially for Earth Observation (EO) applications, plays to Japan’s prowess in precision equipment manufacturing and miniaturisation as well as its long history in EO space development technologies.

The could be no better evidence for this specialisation than the successful launch of the world’s smallest satellite carrying rocket into orbit by JAXA in 2018.

New Space Business | Stimulating The Start-Ups

Start-ups will play a pivotal role in the expansion on the Japanese space sector. The Japanese Government has stepped in and put in place programs to connect investors with space entrepreneurs, along with funds being available to Japanese startups in the sector.

International Collaboration

Establishing international collaboration is seen as another important step in expanding business opportunities for the Japanese space industry. JAXA has announced collaborations, amongst others with the US, France, Germany and the Netherlands around the space sector generally or about specific projects.

Next: Part 3:Who are the Japanese private sector players in the space sector?

Missed Part 1? Find it here.

Image credit | JAXA