Visit by Japanese Space Officials Highlights Cooperation and Growth of Global Space Enterprise

Yesterday, AIA had the honor of welcoming to our association a delegation of Japanese government and industry space officials, representing one of the world’s most dynamic space-faring nations. Our discussions focused on growing global space activities, with Goldman Sachs predicting a tripling of the market for space systems and space enabled services to $1 trillion in the next decade, with industry in both the United States and Japan primed to contribute to major advances in civil and commercial space enterprises.

The Japanese delegation was led by Kunio Kondo, Senior Vice President at NEC Corporation, and featured presentations by Kazuyuki Yamakita of the Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies and over a dozen of Japan’s leading space companies.  Also attesting to the robust U.S.-Japanese cooperative space relationship were Takahiro Matsuo from Japan’s Ministry of Trade, Economy and Industry, and Takayuki Kawai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

The meeting was well attended by U.S. aerospace companies. In my remarks, I emphasized that we are on the verge of having a global space supply chain – just as in aviation – and both the U.S. and Japan are well suited to provide leadership as this becomes more established.

We also heard from the State Department’s Chris Cannizzaro and NASA’s Matthew Koeppe, who emphasized the longstanding U.S.-Japanese space cooperation, which extends to all of NASA’s areas of emphasis in human spaceflight, science and aeronautics, and our mutual interest in working on beneficial international solutions to such challenges as spectrum allocation and rules for export of satellites and other space systems.

This visit underscored Japan’s serious interest in tapping into the growing market for space systems and services, as evidenced by the strong engagement of both government and industry in this business development mission. U.S. government leaders in the Administration and Congress need to recognize that this market segment is actively being pursued by other nations, including the UK, Australia and France. Our commercial leadership cannot be sustained without government support of our industry – from smart regulation and trade promotion to Export Import Bank of the United States financing for satellite and space system export sales. The time to act is now. AIA is excited about the growth prospects of the global space economy and the opportunity it provides to enhance U.S. leadership in the global economy. To learn more about the 21st century space economy, please read here.