Recent Development of Japan’s Space Policy: The Quasi-Zenith Satellite Programme and the Space Policy Making Process

  • Hideaki ShiroyamaEmail author
Part of the Yearbook on Space Policy book series (YEARSPACE)


The first Quasi-Zenith satellite “MICHIBIKI” was launched on 11 September 2010. The Quasi-Zenith Satellites System uses multiple satellites that have the same orbital period as geostationary satellites with some orbital inclinations (their orbits are known as “Quasi-Zenith Orbits”). These satellites are placed in multiple orbital planes, so that one satellite always appears near the zenith above the region of Japan. The system makes it possible to provide high accuracy satellite positioning services covering close to 100% of Japan, including urban, canyon and mountain terrain. The image of the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System using three satellites is shown in Fig. 9.1 below.


Private Sector Satellite System Technology Policy Space Policy Basic Policy 
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This article is based on the discussion at the Space Governance Study Group (2010–2011) at the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Tokyo and is supported by Research Assistants, Mr. Yuichiro Nagai, Mr. Shoichi Fujimoto, and Mr. Kosuke Sugawara.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Policy Alternatives Research Institute and The University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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