Space and spy satellite activities in particular appear to be low on the agenda of new Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, according to Peter J. Brown of the Japanese in Space blog.
Noda made only fleeting references to a new space strategy in his address to the Diet last month, and the launch of the latest Information Gathering Satellite (IGS) days later was kept low profile.
Brown writes that “detecting what lies ahead in space during the early days of the Noda government is heavy in speculation and light in substance. The decision to go ahead with the IGS launch and all the Japanese footprints around foreign commercial satellite launch sites were made long before the [Democratic Party of Japan] reshuffled the cards and Noda arrived in his current office. The small satellite boom with its robotic emphasis — something that seems to fascinate Noda in particular — is well underway as well. What Noda and his advisors must decide is whether or not to tinker with this smooth-running apparatus at a time when precious resources are scarce and there are so many other things in Japan that require his urgent attention.”