Japan and China, two advanced spacefaring nations, are often referred as rivals in space. Successful manned space program in 2003 and ASAT test in 2007 by China were considered as turning points that led Japan to compete against China, and which potentially introduced the idea of a “space race in Asia.” This paper analyzes the objectives, norms and logics of space policy in Japan and China, and discusses the differences between them over what to do in space, and explores the differences of approach.
However, Japan and China are also competing for leadership and influence over the region. APRSAF and APSCO, two similar regional space organizations, are the vehicles of this competition. The result of the competition is positive for Asian countries, because it provides them with access to space technology as public goods throughout the region.
This paper was first published as part of International Cooperation for the Development of Space, published by the Aerospace Technology Working Group (ATWG) and included on this site through the courtesy of ATWG, ISU and the individual authors.
Other extracts from this publication can be found here.