Is Japan entering the new space race?

During the new session of parliament in January this year Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated his pledge to utilise outer space to guarantee national security. Only last year, Abe confirmed that a unit responsible for space operations will be established inside the Air Self-Defense Force (SDF) by the start of fiscal year 2020. The announcements triggered media attention and concerns in some overseas capitals, but Japan’s outer space ambitions are not new. Neither do the announcements imply that the country is about to enter the space race heating up between the United States, China and Russia.

East Asia Forum: