In Defense of Japan: From the Market to the Military in Space Policy

In Defense of Japan: From the Market to the Military in Space Policy

In Defense of Japan: From the Market to the Military in Space Policy

In Defense of Japan: From the Market to the Military in Space Policy

Synopsis

In Defense of Japan provides the first complete, up-to-date, English-language account of the history, politics, and policy of Japan's strategic space development. The dual-use nature of space technologies, meaning that they cut across both market and military applications, has had two important consequences for Japan. First, Japan has developed space technologies for the market in its civilian space program that have yet to be commercially competitive. Second, faced with rising geopolitical uncertainties and in the interest of their own economics, the makers of such technologies have been critical players in the shift from the market to the military in Japan's space capabilities and policy. This book shows how the sum total of market-to-military moves across space launch vehicles, satellites and spacecraft, and emerging related technologies, already mark Japan as an advanced military space power.

Excerpt

This book represents a journey that began at the end of 2002, after a series of rather animated breakfasts at the Hotel Okura in Tokyo. After well over five years of research and writing, this journey has taught us as much about the state of Japan’s space politics, policy, and technology as about what their combination may mean for Japan’s security directions. This book surprised us in many ways, the most important of which is that it was not the one we started out to write. As industry analysts, we began very modestly with a focus on the major pillars of Japan’s space technology—space launch vehicles, satellites and spacecraft, and emerging technological niches—as well as the set of public and especially private actors who make them.

In connecting the dots for this book, we learned that, as in other countries, space technology in Japan did not proceed in a vacuum. the more we studied the sector’s twists and turns, the more we learned to place Japan’s space technology in its proper evolutionary context—that is, in the flow of technical and paradigmatic changes worldwide, as well as the currents of political and social changes in Japan. Early on, we came to the joint conclusion that the entire tenor of Japan’s space program was shifting from what we could best describe as the market-to-the-military. By this we mean that it is no longer commercial but national security paradigms that are ever more critical in driving Japan’s space policy forward.

Of course, only the excellence of Japan’s civil space program could have brought Japan to consider making such a shift. We are not unmindful of the many criticisms that have been levied against Japan’s civilian space program— some of which are well deserved—but there is also much there with which to . . .

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