Specifics of Space Cooperation Potential Between Japan and India (IAC-16-E3.1.9)

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


67th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), Guadalajara, Mexico (2016)




Space activities in the Asia Pacific region have been increasingly developing and diversifying. Many nations have sought to acquire indigenous space capabilities for a wide variety of reasons. Active commercial and security space activities can also be seen in this region. Asian nations also dream to explore the unknown in outer space by promoting space science and exploration. International space cooperation has also been considered as a key element in developing space activities in this region. In this context, the University of Tokyo (UoT) and National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) have conducted a joint research on regional space policy and programs, especially focusing on policy analysis on space policies in Japan and India as a first step. A recent study by UoT and NIAS has explored lot of commonalities and uniqueness in space policies of the two nations. These commonalities and uniqueness in space policies offer potential opportunities for future space collaboration between the two. As leading spacefaring nations, Japan and India have been playing a key role in developing space activities in the Asia Pacific region. By cooperating together, Japan and India will be able to identify and advance regional common interests in space activities in the region. In particular, recent space policies in Japan and India have placed emphasis on space applications for societal needs such as communication, remote sensing, positioning, and so on. Japan-Indian cooperation in this area will contribute to social development in the Asia Pacific region by complementing and supplementing regional space capabilities. On the other hand, Japan and India have also had substantial experiences in space science and exploration. In this regard, Japan-India joint space mission will also be a potential item for future cooperation and will be a great boost to space science and exploration activities at a regional and global level. A third pillar of collaboration is for industry-to-industry tie-ups and development of commons in space industry in the two nations. Space industrial capabilities in both nations can jointly be involved to develop and offer unique space services in applications of earth observation, satellite communications, disaster management, and security, and undertake joint manufacturing activities. Based on the analysis of the commonalities and uniqueness in space program of Japan and India, this paper examines and explores in detail potential ”mission" opportunities for space cooperation between the two nations. Hopefully, these identifications will help Japan-India space cooperation in the future.