A new space strategy office established within the Cabinet Office on July 12 will promote commercial use of Japan’s rocket and satellite technologies.
Responsibility for Japan’s space program has been divided between several ministries, including the science ministry, but Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who has a strong interest in the area, pushed for the creation of the coordinating body.
An immediate focus for the Space Policy Unit will be promoting development of a new positioning satellite system, called the quasi-zenith satellite system, to be launched in 2018, and promoting that technology among Asian nations.
The first head of the office will be Junya Nishimoto, originally from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, who will serve concurrently as space policy councilor, a newly established post.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said the new office would be a "control tower for space policy."
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