Japan creates multibillion-dollar space strategic fund to boost space industry | Space

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HELSINKI — Japan has established a multibillion-dollar Space Strategic Fund to help develop the country’s innovation, autonomy and international competitiveness in space.

Japan’s cabinet approved a bill to establish a $6.7 billion (1 trillion yen), 10-year fund for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in November, aimed at supporting development, technology demonstration, and commercialization of advanced technologies in the space field. New details were presented in a Space Policy Committee meeting in February, including defining three areas for support: satellites, space exploration and space transportation.

Objectives include maintaining independence in space capabilities, strengthening technological superiority, and increasing supply chain autonomy. This is to be achieved by expanding the space-related market, solving global social issues through space technologies, and advancing knowledge and technological capabilities in space exploration. It answers a call in the Space Basic Plan, revised in June 2023, for JAXA to be able to support entities from the commercial and academic worlds.

Domestically, the move is driven by and part of a wider Comprehensive Economic Measures for Completely Overcoming Deflation policy introduced late last year. It also seeks to address international challenges.

“There has been the emergence of many space industry actors, including emerging space countries. The weakness of Japan’s international competitiveness has become evident,” Yui Nakama, a global fellow at the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI), told SpaceNews. “The lack of clear winning strategies against the vigorous space development in the other countries are major drivers.” 

“As a national strategy to overcome economic downturns, both [security and civilian] space domains are considered as frontiers where market expansion is anticipated, alongside being crucial areas for national security,” says Nakama.

The…

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