Japan looks to private space


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The competition heats up: Japan’s legislature is considering bills that would allow for the private launching of Japanese rockets.

Draft bills for the Space Activities Act and Satellite Remote Sensing Act, to be submitted to the regular Diet session from Jan. 4, will require the government to scrutinize launch plans before granting case-by-case permission. Under the Basic Plan on Space Policy set in early 2015, the government aims to expand the size of the space industry to around ¥5 trillion over the next decade. The government would also oblige companies to pay compensation in the event of accidents. Victims would receive government compensation if private operators are unable to cover all the damages, according to the drafts.

Currently, the only entity that has a space program is the state-sponsored Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

The proposed laws will probably not work very well, as they they seem to maintain the government’s strong control over everything.

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