TAMPA, Fla. — Japan’s flagship satellite operator intends to invest around $66 million in space-related startups and venture funds at home and abroad over the next six years.

SKY Perfect JSAT said March 28 that the investment plan is part of a broader commitment announced in 2022 to invest 150 billion yen ($991 million) by the end of the decade in new technologies and expanding its presence in the space industry.

The operator has provided regional broadband and TV services for much of its more than 30-year history and currently has 17 satellites in its geostationary fleet.

In 2019, the company began expanding into space-based intelligence services, leading it to invest in iQPS, a Japanese venture developing a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) constellation.

Earlier this year, SKY Perfect JSAT announced the creation of a startup that would use in-orbit lasers to remove space junk.

SKY Perfect JSAT also recently invested in Tenchijin, a five-year-old Earth imagery analysis provider.

To help find more opportunities to set up and support early-stage businesses, the operator said it has started collaborating with Spacetide Foundation to support Axela, the Japanese non-profit’s acceleration program in Japan tailored for space startups.

Jason Rainbow writes about satellite telecom, space finance and commercial markets for SpaceNews. He has spent more than a decade covering the global space industry as a business journalist. Previously, he was Group Editor-in-Chief for Finance Information...