Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is currently allowed to conduct rocket launches from the Tanegashima Space Center and the Uchinoura Space Center during some specific periods for 190 days in total per year thanks to the understanding and cooperation of fishermen around Tanegashima.
On the other hand, the Basic Plan for Space Policy (please see the reference below) mentions, "Launch sites are an important infrastructure that ensures Japan's independent access to space. In addition, it is necessary to maintain their conditions so as to use the sites anytime even from a viewpoint of improving international competitiveness in commercial launch service by private sectors. (...) For that reason, Government will make efforts to (...) examine restrictions in the period of launch..." (Excerpt from the Basic Plan for Space Policy)
The fishery council for the Tanegashima area (*1) and JAXA have been proposing the expansion of the launch period from 190 days to all year round from April 2011 to the fishery organizations of five related prefectures (Kagoshima, Miyazaki, Oita, Kochi, and Ehime Prefectures) aiming at securing launch opportunities whenever necessary and establishing a more open launch site system that is comparable to that in other countries.
We are pleased to announce that the fishery council for the Tanegashima area and JAXA reached the following agreement with the fishery organizations of the five prefectures.
1. Launch Period
From April 2011, we will abolish restrictions on limited launch periods for regular launch periods and special launch periods, and the launch period will be expanded from 190 days to all year round.
2. Number of launches
The number of rocket launches will be limited to 17 per year, as present.
The launch plan and fishery measures for every fiscal year will be discussed in advance at the consultation meeting (*2) as we currently do. In addition, the outline plan for the next fiscal year will also be discussed.
*1 The fishery council for the Tanegashima area is a governmental council composed of related government ministries and agencies including the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
*2 The meeting is to discuss the launch plan in advance with fishermen in related prefectures.