“Space Power and the Trajectory of U.S. Influence in Space”

Recent graduate Takuya Wakimoto wrote the article “Space Power and Trajectory of U.S. Influence in Space”, which was recently published in GWU’s International Affairs Review. His article begins on page 39 of the Summer 2019 issue.



The United States has utilized the space domain to enhance national security and to improve national prestige. However, a growing number of governmental and commercial participants in the space domain are creating complications and increasing risks such as collisions with space objects or debris. This trend pressures the United States to find ways to protect and preserve its valuable assets in space. It is, therefore, necessary for the U.S. to acquire capabilities to manage and control the space domain. Historically, control of a domain was pursued through military capabilities such as sea, air, or land powers; however, space power is yet an undefined concept. This article explores the historical development of space technologies in the context of national security, how we should approach the undefined concept of space power, and the policies the U.S. should pursue to advance its interests in space.

“A Guide to Japan’s Space Policy Formulation: Structures, Roles and Strategies of Ministries and Agencies for Space”

Takuya Wakimoto, a second-year SPI graduate student, recently wrote the article “A Guide to Japan’s Space Policy Formulation: Structures, Roles and Strategies of Ministries and Agencies for Space”, which was published by the Pacific Forum.

Executive Summary: The Japanese government’s organizational structure and policy processes for outer space programs have evolved over time, and now the government has completed its restructuring. Fifty years ago, the Japanese government restricted national space activities to “peaceful purposes,” which was interpreted as non-military activities. As a consequence, Japan’s space programs, including the government’s utilization of space systems, were rationalized on the basis of scientific purposes. Today, technological advancements and changes in both internal and external political circumstances led the government to accept and pursue a full-spectrum national space policy that includes military usage. The government codified these changes and created the first national law for space in 2008. The law established a Cabinet-level headquarters to develop and lead Japan’s space policy. In addition, organizational reforms in 2012 affected ministries’ and agencies’ roles, responsibilities, and national space policy processes. This paper is a resource for researchers of Japan’s space policy. It will allow them to easily and comprehensively understand how Japan’s national space policy is being formulated. The first section of this paper aims at clarifying the Japanese government’s current organizational structures, roles and strategies in space policy. The second section provides an overview of two national space policy pillars: national military space strategies and commercial space initiatives.

“What to Call the Moon”

Is it moon or Moon? In AIAA’s Aerospace America November 218 issue, Dr. John Logsdon weighs in on whether or not Earth’s one and only natural satellite should be written with a capital “M”. In the article, Dr. Logsdon looks at the history of the name “moon”, the names given to other natural satellites in our solar system, and gives his opinion on whether it should be “moon” or “Moon”. Read his article HERE.

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