Space Café “Black Ops by Dr. Emma Gatti” is our bi-monthly appointment with space geopolitics. This new series sees as visitor guest Dr. Namrata Goswami in dialogue with chief editor Dr. Emma Gatti.
Russia AND Japan: Capable partners in differing space orders
The fourth episode of this special series of Space Café Black Ops with Dr. Namrata Goswami as resident guest is focused on Russia and Japan. Throughout the episode the current Russian and Japanese space programs are discussed as well as their capabilities in the future. This episode is part of a seven-episodes series focused on the geopolitics of space.
Dr. Goswami and Dr Gatti began by discussing the differences between the main drivers of the Russian and Japanese space programs. Dr. Goswami said that ‘we have Russia, which is a long-standing rival to the United States in the race for space supremacy. And on the other side we have encountered Japan, which is a sort of rising star that has been making waves in the space industry since the early 2000s”. Dr. Goswami indicated Russia’s four critical drivers for their space program: importance of deterrence, fear of missile defence, national security, and the civilian space program.
In contrast, said Dr. Goswami, the Japan space program has been more focused on the utilisation of space for peaceful purposes, albeit this started to shift in the 1980s. Compared to Russia, the Japanese space program has three critical drivers: national security, strategic diplomacy, and investment in space technologies e.g., space-based solar power.
Regarding space capabilities and the respective assets, Dr. Goswami described Japan as heavily invested in developing their own GPS, and a heavy medium lift rocket. The first attempts at a launch failed, but they will try again. On the other hand, Russia maintains its independent launch capabilities, albeit Dr. Goswami pointed out how Ukraine might have taken its toll on their capabilities. In fact, as a result of sanctions Russia is losing out in the commercial market.
Finally, when it comes to national security strategy, Dr. Goswami pointed out how Japan has had a very critical strategic shift in their thinking. They are now aiming to enable their technologies, including space technology, to ensure that Japan can defend their homeland against external aggression.
Here you can see the episode in full:
The next episodes will be:
Episode 5: 26th July 2023 – 4 pm CET – India: A Strategy of a Leading Power
Episode 6: 27th September 2023 – 4 pm CET – The new strategy of the Middle East
Episode 7: November 2023 – Europe and Africa: new and old powers at stake