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57 ZLW 585 (2008)
Introduction to the Japanese Basic Space Law of 2008 / Uberblick uber das Japanische Weltraumbasisgesetz 2008 / Introduction a la Loi (de Base) Spatiale 2008 Japonaise

handle is hein.journals/zlw57 and id is 600 raw text is: Introduction to the Japanese Basic Space Law of 2008
by Prof Dr. Setsuko Aoki'
The Japanese Basic Space Law was voted into a full-fledged law on May 21,
2008 (Law No. 43), promulgated on May 28 and came into force on August
27, 2008. It essentially aims at lifting the long-standing ban on the use of
space assets for military purposes and at promoting the national space indu-
stry. To realize these purposes, the law focuses on the reorganization of Ja-
pan's space management structure.
Japan is the fourth nation to have launched a domestic satellite with its own
rocket from a launching site of its own in 1970. It has become an important
player among space-faring nations with extensive activities relating to the
exploration and use of outer space. However, as far as the commercialization
of outer space is concerned its record is not brilliant - to say the least. Japan
has never conducted a commercial launching nor does it have a private re-
mote sensing satellite in operation. Two important reasons are responsible
for this situation:
The first and fundamental one lies in the Japanese space management struc-
ture. Since the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is under the
control of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technolo-
gy (MEXT), its mandate is limited to the pursuit of basic science and the
application of the state-of-the-art space technology.1 The interpretation of
the peaceful uses of outer space as being non-military in Japan prohibits
space agencies to participate in any defense-related, non-aggressive use of
outer space. Thus, space agencies had to be controlled by the science and
technology bureau of the Government.2 History shows that without a mili-
Professor of International Law, Faculty of Policy Management, Keio University,
1   JAXA's mandates are determined by Long-Term Program of Space Activities
(latest version was adopted in February 2008) as endorsed by the Minister of
MEXT and the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC). MIC
supervises JAXA in matters of space communication while MEXT controls all
other activities of JAXA in the field of space research and development.
2    In 2003 the three formerly independent organizations were consolidated into
one incorporated administrative agency named JAXA to streamline Japan's aero-
nautical and aerospace research, development and practical applications facing
the challenges of the far-reaching administrative reform of 2001. Prior to the cre-
ation of JAXA, the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA)

ZLW 57. Jg. 4/2008

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