Among the top five FSS operators, Sky Perfect Jsat has been the most focused on its home market. Part of this is because the regional Asia-Pacific satellite scene often resembles a rowdy bar, and because Japan’s big neighbor to the southwest, China, takes care of its own satellite needs.

But even as it remains mainly a Japanese player, the company has been branching out into new businesses and taking steps to be more of a presence in Russia and Asia. It is exporting its disaster response system to earthquake-prone Chile and Turkey, and is expanding its ExBird nuclear disaster prevention data-transmission program.

These initiatives are not big moneymakers for the moment. More promising is Sky Perfect Jsat’s leadership of a consortium that will operate and maintain two X-band DSN satellites for the Japanese Ministry of Defense, with the satellites to launch in late 2015 and 2017.

Sky Perfect Jsat’s revenue in 2013 was slightly up in Japanese yen before suffering from the yen-dollar exchange rates. Operating income was up, and the last quarter of the company’s fiscal year, which ends March 31, was far stronger than the earlier quarters. Capital spending is also up with three satellites on order, all from Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, California, not including the Japan-built DSN satellites.

The government-mandated end of standard-definition television in May will depress revenue as broadcasters move to higher compression — a global phenomenon in the satellite industry.

Growth opportunities are being sought in the aeronautical and maritime mobility markets. Sky Perfect Jsat has adopted Panasonic Avionics’ exConnect aeronautical connectivity platform, and the company’s Ocean BB maritime product grew in 2013 from 95 to 130 ships, mainly from Japanese shipping companies. 

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Peter B. de Selding was the Paris Bureau Chief for SpaceNews.