The Leadership Competition between Japan and China in the East Asian Context
Kazuto Suzuki, Ph.D.
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.