The future is being discussed these days budget for space activities and research that will be made available by the Japanese government: part of that money will be allocated for the construction of new rockets, for the government satellite program and for JAXA, the Japanese space agency.
Japan is pushing more and more on “space culture”: it does not intend to lag behind as regards international projects that see the Moon as the next target, and also wants to establish itself as the main reference country in the environment of extraterrestrial exploration.
For the fiscal year 2021 that is about to begin (every March 30th the old one closes and the new one begins), an estimated 449.6 billion yen (4.41 billion US dollars), which will mostly go to the Ministry of Defense, Education and Science & Technology. In every area, however, they will be mostly used for activities related to space research. The budget bill is still on the table in the House of Councilors for now, pending its final approval.
About $ 500 million will be needed for confirm JAXA’s participation in the future Artemis program, which could start by the end of 2021 (despite the delays on the SLS suggest a more plausible 2022), as well as cover the costs for the design and construction of the future technologies necessary for the Lunar Gateway.
Most of the budget, however, will be spent on the production and improvement of the spy satellite network, optical and imaging radars, especially for the country’s aerospace defense. The motivation for such a large allocation of funds lies mainly in the fact that Japan wants to decisively counter and prevent a possible missile launch by North Korea (a similar event, in 1998, was precisely the trigger for the “Information Japanese Gathering Satellite “).
The Japanese government however intends to also promote and support space situational awareness operations on a large scale. In particular, the Ministry intends to spend $ 300 million to: create a dedicated system to ensure the safe use of space; improve the information gathering capabilities of multiple objects in orbit, in order to track their position, speed and hazard with more precision; strengthen cooperation with foreign space agencies such as NASA, ESA and CSA.