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A Balance Assessment of Japan and China’s Space Capabilities Nicholas Jeon Dr. Philip Karber

Source: Edwards, Tim, "Has Obama just handed the moon to China?" The Week, (12 November 2012), http://www.theweek.co.uk/politics/16817/has-obama-just-handed-moon-china>

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Introduction
Military space assets have an enormous impact in today’s world, and the next era of international power politics will hinge upon the control of space. However, the golden era of space exploration and exploitation has come and gone with the Cold War1, and the United States now enjoys dominance outside the atmosphere. Yet, the US has set its sights on a new contender: China. China’s rise in the international sphere combined with its increasing space capabilities has created a substantial amount of literature on the future of US-Chinese relations regarding space. However, the local ramifications of China’s rise have gotten lost in the hype over the possible “US-Sino space showdown.” This paper will lay out the balance between China and another Asian heavyweight in space: Japan. Before proceeding any further, it is important that the reader has a general understanding of the “terrain” of space. While space itself is a matter-less void, other factors such as gravity and radiation give space a variety of characteristics and properties that shape a type of terrain. Everett Dolman, in Astropolitik: Classical Geopolitics in the Space Age, describes a couple different properties of space that shape the surrounding void and create chokepoints.2 First, there are the different types of orbits: LEO (Low earth orbit), MEO (medium earth orbit), GEO (geostationary earth orbit), and Polar orbit. LEO is used for communications and weather satellites and is often considered a natural chokepoint in space because everything coming in and out must travel through LEO. MEO is the site of some reconnaissance satellites and the ISS, while GEO is at a higher altitude than both LEO and MEO and is synchronized with the rotation of the earth. This allows GEO satellites to constantly be over one point of the earth, which can be extremely useful in surveillance and tracking. Finally, satellites on polar
1 2

Source Everett C. Dolman, Astropolitik: Classical Geopolitics in the Space Age, (London, Great Britain: Frank Cass Publishers, 2002); pp.60-84

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orbits cross over the North and South Poles and can be on such an orbit that it is always in the sun, which is useful for maximizing the usefulness of a satellite. Furthermore, there is the effect of the gravity of other celestial bodies.3 The Earth, the moon, and other heavenly bodies are constantly tugging at each other, creating a gravitational field. On this field, there are certain places called Lagrange points where satellites can stay in the exact same relative location by exploiting the gravitational balance between the Earth, moon, and sun.

Points marked L1-L5 are the Lagrange Points. Source: "The Lagrange Points," WMAP Observatory: Lagrange Points. NASA, 9 Dec. 2012.

Next, there is the effect of radiation.4 If a spacecraft were to go through the Van Allen Belt, which is comprised of 2 circular high-radiation areas around the Earth, the spacecraft would most likely be destroyed and the crew killed. These radiation belts create natural chokepoints—areas that are not radiated.

3 4

Ibid Ibid

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Inner and Outer Van Allen Belts Source: "What Is Space Radiation?" Space Radiation Analysis Group. NASA, 9 Dec. 2012.

This leads to a game of dominance and denial in space. These chokepoints create the possibility of a single state dominating the realm of space. The ideal world for any space-faring state is one in which it achieves space dominance through the control of these key chokepoints. What factors allow a country to control these chokepoints? They are the country’s launch capability, space leadership, and military space capabilities. Because of the lack of rules and institutions regarding territory in space, the country that arrives at the chokepoint is most likely to control it. When the international community recognizes the importance of institutions in space, the country that is already considered the leader will be able to create the rules. Finally, it is highly likely that states will eventually resort to force to control these chokepoints, and a strong military space force will be necessary to maintain control over the chokepoint. Although space dominance is the long-term goal of every nation, some countries also focus on denying others access to space. Countries develop ASAT

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(anti-satellite) capabilities in order to discourage others from attempting dominance. Launching satellites into space is an extremely costly endeavor, and an increase in the vulnerability of a satellite greatly discourages nations from pursuing and developing indigenous space programs. Finally, space assets have become increasingly important in land, air, and sea-based warfare. States have slowly picked up on this, thanks in large part to the importance of US space assets in the Gulf War.5 Most notably, space assets are used for surveillance, monitoring, and targeting.

China’s Space Program
China has been focused on the US, not necessarily because it has ambitions to be a global power, but because a near-future confrontation with the US is possible due to China’s local territorial ambitions. This confrontation may also involve conflicts in space between the two nations. China sees the US’s dependence on satellites and believes that in the case of a conflict in the South China Sea, the US would not dare join the fray if its satellites were damaged. By the time the US would be able to join, China would have already cleaned up its regional conflict. That being said, China is also focusing on the space programs of smaller powers near China, especially Japan. Japan has been a heavyweight in the space arena for a few decades now. Moreover, Japan’s space industry is slowly moving from just a commercial and civil one to one that incorporates the military. Japanese expertise in the realm of civil and commercial space can easily adapt to military space, so China cannot afford to ignore Japanese space power. Therefore, China’s strategy has been to deny the Japanese space power while building up its own.

5

Dudney, Robert S. "Space Power in the Gulf." Air Force Magazine 86.6 (2003)

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China’s space program is controlled by the PLA and is therefore, very secretive. This “mystery within a maze”6 is so secretive that even the participants are kept in the dark. While there has been a re-emphasis on China’s space program by the PLA, they are not on the cutting edge and are using an approach of “buy, copy, or steal” or are uniting with other countries in joint ventures.7 While China’s space program may be confusing, it is comprehensive and has an overarching strategy. Moreover, control by the PLA creates the advantage of a “unity in difference”8. China has not only focused internally, but also externally. China has promoted international cooperation to develop space articles with more than 70 countries and regions. China has been pushing APSCO (Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization). Membership in the group requires dues and must be ratified by the members’ governments.9 China has also been pushing for a treaty at the UN Conference on Disarmament on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space.10 However, there has been a visible lack of cooperation with the US and China, especially with the US slamming export controls on China.11

Japan’s Space Program
Japan’s space program began as one that focused solely on civil and commercial space. In recent year, however, Japan’s space program has slowly become more intertwined with the military, and the Japan’s use of satellites has moved from peaceful (1969) to non-military to defensive.12 This transformation of
6 7

Tellis, Ashley J., “China’s Space Capabilities and U.S. Security Interests,” (Carnegie Endowment, 2008); Tellis, Ashley A., "China's Space Capabilities and their Impact on U.S. National Security," (before the U.S.China Economic and Security Review Commission; 20 May 2008)
8 9

Tellis, Ashley J., “China’s Space Capabilities and U.S. Security Interests,” (Carnegie Endowment, 2008); Moltz, James C., “China, the United States, and Prospects for Asian Space Cooperation,” Journal of Contemporary China, vol. 20, issue 68, (Taylor & Francis: 2011): pp. 76-78 10 Ibid 73 11 US export controls like ITAR have caused enormous damage to the US’s space industry by cutting off demand for US aerospace companies. 12 Hughes, Christopher, "Japan's Military Modernisation: A Quiet Japan-China Arms Race and Global Power Projection," Asia-Pacific Review, Vol. 16, No. 1 (2009), pp. 10-11;

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Japan’s space program has been relatively smooth because space is a dual-use sector, which means space assets are flexible and can satisfy both civilian and military needs. This transformation began when North Korea had its Taepodong-1 Test, which completely took the Japanese off guard since Japan was relying heavily on the US for intelligence.13 Japan still relies on the US for intelligence, but it has made a concentrated effort to wean itself off of the US’s space.14 Despite Japan’s efforts to rely less on the US, the two nations still maintain good relations in regards to space through JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and NASA. Moreover, 3 Japanese astronauts have worked on the ISS, and 13 Japanese astronauts have been in US shuttle missions since 1992. The Kibo space module on the ISS is also key part of Japan’s relationship with the United States.15 In terms of Asian space cooperation, Japan heads APRSAF (Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum). It is much larger than China’s APSCO, but is more flexible and informal, not requiring any dues or ratification.16 It seems unlikely that China and Japan will be able to cooperate on space anytime soon, but neither country is particularly sorry about that fact. Due to a “relative availability of alternative partners (Russia, Ukraine, France, the United Kingdom, and for some, the United States) with more advanced capabilities,”17 neither countries’ space programs have much to gain through cooperation.

13 14

Robertson, Ann E. and Samuel Black, Militarization of Space (Global Issues), (Facts on File, 2011); p.96 Hughes, Christopher, "Japan's Military Modernisation: A Quiet Japan-China Arms Race and Global Power Projection," Asia-Pacific Review, Vol. 16, No. 1 (2009), pp. 10-11; 15 Moltz, James C., “China, the United States, and Prospects for Asian Space Cooperation,” Journal of Contemporary China, vol. 20, issue 68, (Taylor & Francis: 2011): pp. 76 16 Ibid 76-78 17 Ibid 71-72

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Chinese Satellites18
At first glance, China’s system of satellites seems to be well-organized. The majority of China’s satellites are part of a numbered series owned by the PLA/the communist party. Few of China’s satellites are owned by actors outside the government. However, the military sometimes falsely names its satellites to confuse outsiders—only a few members of the space program truly know the full purpose of each satellite. Also, China’s commercial satellites each have more than one name, which creates even more confusion. Communication Satellites China possesses a few commercial satellites. Satellites from the Apstar, AsiaSat, ChinaSat, ChinaStar, SinoSat, and Fenghuo series are most often commercial. Again, the naming behind the satellites can be a little tricky, since they can have more than one name. For instance, ChinaStar 22A is also known as ChinaSat 22A and Fenghuo 1A. For the most part, private actors own Apstar, AsiaSat, SinoSat, and ChinaStar satellites. The government/PLA owns ChinaSat and Fenghuo satellites19. While the PLA can use the commercial satellites for military purposes, there is a limited amount of bandwidth from each satellite, and so the PLA decided to create their C4I system: the Qudian system. Once completed, the Qudian system will be a completely military-owned satellite communications system comprised of 5 satellites that can help the Chinese military in all sorts of aspects, whether through ballistic missile defense or through aircraft guidance. So far, there are 2 Fenghuo

18

“Registration data on space objects launched by China,” (The Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations: UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, 2010); < http://www.oosa.unvienna.org/pdf/reports/regdocs/ser602E.pdf > [accessed 30 September 2012] and "UCS Satellite Database," (29 September 2012), <http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_weapons_and_global_security/space_weapons/technical_issues/ucssatellite-database.html> 19 Poduval, Sanjay, “China's Military Space Capabilities,” Maritime Affairs: Journal of the National Maritime Foundation of India, vol. 7, issue 2, (2011): pp. 85-101;

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satellites in orbit: Fenghuo 1A and Fenghuo 220. Also, there are 3 Tianlian satellites, which are used as tracking and data relay for the Shenzhou manned missions. Navigation/Global Positioning Satellites China’s navigation system is composed of two different Beidou systems. The first one was the Beidou 1 system or the Compass Navigation Satellite Experimental system (CNSE). This was an experimental system that was fully completed in 2003 and was released to the public in 2004. It was composed of 4 satellites (3 operational and 1 back-up)21. The Chinese are currently working on the Beidou 2 system or the Compass Navigation Satellite System (CNSS). The completed version will be composed of 35 satellites, 5 of which will be in geostationary orbit and will allow backward compatibility with the Beidou 1 satellites. The full system will encompass the entire globe and will be on the same level as GPS and GLONASS. The Beidou 2 system has been partially completed and provides service currently22. Meteorology Satellites China’s Fengyun weather system is composed of 6 satellites. While these satellites perform civil services by providing the weather to the public, it should still be considered as another asset of the Chinese military because weather information is crucial in planning military strikes23. Another series of weather satellites is the Haiyang series, which currently only has two satellites up in orbit. These are oceanographic satellites, which are used to measure sea levels and wind speeds. Space Physics, Technology Development, and Science Research Satellites

20 21

Ibid Ibid 22 Ibid 23 Ibid

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One of China’s oldest series of satellites is the Shijian series. There are currently 13 Shijian satellites right now. While the aim of these satellites is technology and space research, some of the satellites have been associated with military implications. For instance, the Shijian 12 was launched and did a maneuver to come into proximity with another Shijian satellite and “bumped” into it. Because of its ASAT implications, this mission scared a lot of people in the international community. Moreover, two of the Shijian satellites (6G and 6H) are suspected of being reconnaissance satellites24. The “Tian” series is another series of experimental satellites. The Tianhui satellites are focused on experimenting on mapping technology. 2 of the series have been launched thus far. The Tiantuo satellite is experimenting on data reception. The Tianxun satellite is an experimental Earth observation satellite. The Tiangong satellite is a satellite that will be experimenting on docking capabilities by the Shenzhou manned spacecraft. The Tsinghua satellite is a Chinese nano-satellite that has been used for experiments on data transmission, remote sensing photography, and orbital maneuvering. More specifically, the Tsinghua satellite was maneuvered to rendezvous with another nano-satellite that the Chinese had launched25. Remote Sensing/Earth Observation/Reconnaissance Satellites The Yaogan series (a series of remote sensing systems satellites) currently has 16 satellites in orbit. 5 of these Yaogan satellites are synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites, which allow the Chinese to view the battlefield through any kind of weather and even through water. The Yaogan series is sometimes referred to as the Jian Bing series26, and the SAR satellites are under the JB-5 designation27.
24

"Shijian," (3 November 2012) <http://www.dragoninspace.com/science/shijian.aspx> Huang Ruixi, Tsinghua University News (12 November 2012), <http://news.tsinghua.edu.cn/publish/newsen/6054/2011/20110111164503580470101/2011011116450 3580470101_.html> 26 The PLA gives the Jian Bing designation to its military satellites
25

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The Fanhui Shi Weixing series was a series of military reconnaissance satellites. These satellites were also under the designation of Jian Bing. There are currently none in orbit. The last one was recovered in 2006. These satellites had imagery intelligence (IMINT) and mapping roles, and the last few satellites were high precision photographic mapping satellites. The Yaogan series have replaced these satellites28. There are 3 satellites from the Ziyuan series that are currently in orbit right now. These are widely thought to be reconnaissance satellites, although the name Ziyuan means “resource.” These satellites are the most advanced satellites that China currently has29.

Japanese Satellites 30
While the PLA/Communist Party owns almost all of China’s satellites, many independent actors in Japan, such as Japanese universities, own satellites. These include both civil and commercial actors. As a result, there is a wide variety of different names/series of satellites in Japan.

Communication Satellites Owned by Broadcasting Satellite System Corp., BSAT is one of Japan’s biggest satellites series. These satellites’ primary purpose is to provide telecommunication services for the average Japanese consumer31.

27

Poduval, Sanjay, “China's Military Space Capabilities,” Maritime Affairs: Journal of the National Maritime Foundation of India, vol. 7, issue 2, (2011): pp. 85-101; 28 Ibid 29 Ibid 30 "Registration data on a space object launched by Japan," (The Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations: UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, 2011); < http://www.oosa.unvienna.org/pdf/reports/regdocs/ser635E.pdf > [accessed 30 September 2012] and "UCS Satellite Database," (29 September 2012), <http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_weapons_and_global_security/space_weapons/technical_issues/ucssatellite-database.html>

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Sky Perfect Corporation owns the other communications satellites: Superbird, JCSat, and N-Star. All of these communications satellites are owned commercially, so the government does not have a lot of spectrum in its arsenal for communications. Navigation/Global Positioning Satellite Japan’s Navigation satellites are composed of two series: MTSAT and QZS-1. Meteorology Satellite MTSAT, which also doubles as two of Japan’s navigation satellites, is the only series of meteorological satellites (just 2 satellites) that Japan has. Again, these meteorology satellites not only help the public with weather forecasts, but provide crucial information in naval or marine battles. Space Physics, Technology Development, and Science Research Satellites It is in the area of technology development and science research that Japan has the widest variety of satellites. These satellites are owned by Japanese universities and the government. They are Akebono, Cubesat, Cute, DRTS, Greenhouse Gases, Horyu, Kiku, Kizuna, Reimei, SDS-4, SEEDS 2, SOHLA, and Suzaku. Remote Sensing/Earth Observation/Reconnaissance Satellites After the 1998 Taepodong-1 testing by North Korea, the Japanese government approved of the IGS series, which are Japan’s only reconnaissance satellites. While they do provide valuable information to Japan, it is still heavily reliant on US data. Prism and TRMM are Japan’s other earth observation satellites, and there is no reason to suspect these satellites of other functions.

31

"Orbital Fact Sheet - BSAT-2 Series", (10 November 2012) <http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/BSAT2_Fact.pdf>

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Launch Vehicles32

Launch Capability of Chinese LEO-Bound Launch Vehicles
Payload Weight in Kg

12000.00 10000.00 8000.00 6000.00 4000.00 2000.00 0.00

Names and Years of Operation

Launch Capability of Japanese LEO-Bound launch vehicles
2000.00 1800.00 1600.00 1400.00 1200.00 1000.00 800.00 600.00 400.00 200.00 0.00 L-4S (66- M-4S (70- M-3C (74- M-3H (77- M-3S (80- M-3SII (85- M-V (9770) 72) 79) 78) 84) 95) 06) Names and Years of Operation
Payload Weight in Kg
32

"Chinese Space Launch Vehicles," (FAS Space Policy Project); <https://www.fas.org/spp/guide/china/launch/index.html> and Encyclopedia Astronautica, <http://astronautix.com/> and Pekkanen, Saadia and Paul Kallender-Umezu, In Defense of Japan: From the Market to the Military in Space Policy, (Stanford University Press, 2010, 1st ed.)

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Launch Capability of Chinese GEO-Bound Launch Vehicles
6000.00
Payload Weigh in Kg

5000.00 4000.00 3000.00 2000.00 1000.00 0.00 CZ-3 (84- CZ-4A (88- CZ-2E (90- CZ-3A (94- CZ-3B (96- CZ-2F (99- CZ-3C (0800) 90) 95) Present) Present) Present) Present) Names and Years of Operation

Launch Capability of Japanese GEOBound Launch Vehicles
4000.00
Payload Weight in Kg

3500.00 3000.00 2500.00 2000.00 1500.00 1000.00 500.00 0.00 N-I (75-82) N-H (81-87) H-I (86-92) H-II (94-99) H-IIA (01Present) H-IIB (09Present)

Names and Years of Operation

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Success Record of Chinese Launch Vehicles
Success in Percentage (Successes/Total Launches)

120.00 100.00 80.00 60.00 40.00 20.00 0.00

Names and Years of Operation

Success Record of Japanese Launch Vehicles
Success in Percentage (Success/Total Launches)

100.00 90.00 80.00 70.00 60.00 50.00 40.00 30.00 20.00 10.00 0.00

Names and Years of Operation

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Chinese Launch Vehicles

Source: "Chinese Space Launch Vehicles," (FAS Space Policy Project); <https://www.fas.org/spp/guide/china/launch/index.html> and Encyclopedia Astronautica, <http://astronautix.com/>

The Chinese started off with launch vehicles from Russia (or the Soviet Union at the time). While China’s launch capabilities started off much greater than Japan’s, it went through a continuous period of stagnation and flourishing, rather than steadily rising. This trend does not seem like it will change in the near future, as the Communist Party continuously changes its mind on these rockets. Also, a string of launch vehicle failures in the 2000s slowed Chinese rocket development by a significant amount. The Chinese almost always use Long March rockets.33 (The current variations of the Long March rocket are 2C, 2D, 2F, 3A, 3B, 3C, 4B, and 4C). The Chinese consider the Long March rocket to be sufficient for the time being. The Long March 5 will have modular design that will provide much-needed flexibility.

33

The only times they have not are for a few commercial and science missions.

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Japanese Launch Vehicles

Source: Chavis, Jason C. "The Japanese Space Freighter - The H-2 Transfer Vehicle from JAXA (HTV)." Bright Hub. 9 Dec. 2012.

Unlike China, Japan had to start from scratch on its development of SLVs (satellite launch vehicles). Because the technology and design of launch vehicles are extremely similar to those of ballistic missiles, other nations were hesitant to help the Japanese rocket industry. Therefore, Japan faced the challenge of developing its own rocket industry from scratch, and its first rocket, dubbed the “pencil rocket,” only had a payload of 26 kg. Today it is clear that Japan has met the challenge and has grown tremendously in its launch vehicle capabilities. Because Japan’s launch vehicles are not based on ballistic missiles like those of other countries, the development of Japan’s launch vehicles is bound to differ from that of other countries.

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Japan’s two, most frequently used launch vehicles are the H-IIA and the H-IIB, which are liquid-fueled launch vehicles operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. They are quite technologically advanced and have very clean records. Besides the HIIA and H-IIB, Japan uses a few other launch vehicles. For upper atmosphere missions, JAXA uses SS-520, S-520, and S-310 rockets. Moreover, Japan often uses the SLVs of foreign companies, such as Ariane and Dnepr.

Chinese Launch Sites

Source: China's Space Rockets, (19 November 2012), <http://www.spacetoday.org/China/ChinaRockets.html>

There are currently 4 launch sites in China: Jiquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu Province, Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province, the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Shanxi Province, and Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan Island. Recoverable satellites and manned spacecraft are launched from Jiquan, geostationary satellites are launched from Xichang, polar orbit satellites are

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launched from Taiyuan, and equatorial orbiting satellites are launch from Wenchang34. Moreover, the Chinese have demonstrated mobile launch capacity, which changes the game since fixed launch sites are vulnerable to attack.

Japanese Launch Sites

Source: s"Google Maps." Google Maps. 10 Dec. 2012.

Japan has two launch sites: one at Uchinoura Space Center and one at Tanegashima Space Center. Both of these sites are located on Japan’s southern tip, which is an excellent place for launch sites. Not only are these locations away from large populations, but the sea is also located to the east of the islands. When Japan’s rockets fly off the pad, they veer to the east, which prevents any accidents above the population. Veering east also takes advantage of the Earth’s rotation to lessen the amount of fuel needed to reach orbit35.
34 35

Tellis, Ashley J., “China’s Space Capabilities and U.S. Security Interests,” (Carnegie Endowment, 2008); Everett C. Dolman, Astropolitik: Classical Geopolitics in the Space Age, (London, Great Britain: Frank Cass Publishers, 2002);

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Counter Space Weapons
What is a counter-space attack or weapon? If a counter-space attack is any attack that inhibits the use of space by a nation, one could consider an attack on a launch pad to be a “counter-space” attack. The attack on the launch pad would prevent a vehicle from entering space. This type of definition is much too broad. A narrower definition of a counter-space attack would be “an attack that occurs in space” and a better definition of a counter-space weapon would be “a weapon that is created for the purposes of striking targets in space.” The different types of counter-space weapons can be categorized into direct ascent (DA) weapons, ASAT satellites, and directed energy weapons (DEW), which have the ability to dazzle, blind, or jam satellites, rather than just destroying them. The Chinese tested an ASAT on January 2007, firing a kinetic-kill weapon on a defunct Chinese weather satellite. The test was successful and created 30,000 pieces of space debris.36 ASAT Satellites In June 2010, the Chinese led a satellite in SJ-12 into a very close orbit with another one of its satellites, SJ-06F, and bumped the two together. This co-orbital interception made a few concerned, but this interception is unlikely to have been an ASAT test. Not only was it slow (9 weeks), but satellites as ASATs are attributable, which is not something that the Chinese desire.37

36

Covault, Craig, "Chinese Test Anti-Satellite Weapon," Space Ref, (3 November 2012), <http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1188> 37 Matthews, William, "Beijing Puzzle: Beijing Offers No Explanation for Complex Satellite Maneuver," Defense News, (2 November 2012), http://www.defensenews.com/article/20100906/DEFFEAT01/9060317/Chinese-Puzzle

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DEW’s The Chinese have been developing high energy laser (HEL) directed energy weapons (DEW)38. Due to the secrecy of the program and the lack of information, some figures are often recycled continuously without thought. For instance, Major Mark Stokes penned a paper in 1999 that there are approximately “10,000 personnel (including 3000 engineers) involved with China’s laser program alone, with 40% of these are for defense applications alone”.39 It is unclear where this number originated from, but many reference this number because there is nothing else to reference. Japanese ASATs If the reader is wondering why there has been no mention of Japanese counterspace capabilities, it is simply because it has none. So far, they only have reconnaissance/early warning satellites. Of course, that is not to say that Japan does not have ways of possibly damaging satellites—it is just that Japan does not have a program specifically designed for counterspace activities.

Lunar Space
China has, through its Chinese Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP), announced its plans of landing probes on the moon, which would be a huge step towards gaining control over one of the chokepoints mentioned earlier—Lagrange Points. One of the effects of China’s moon program is a spark of interest by its youth on space issues. China’s soon-to-be-developed Long March 5 launch vehicle should be able to reach the moon40. Furthermore, China already sent out its first moon orbiter in 200741

38

Kopp, Carlo, "High Energy Laser Directed Energy Weapons," (SMAIAA, MIEEE, PEng), <http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-DEW-HEL-Analysis.html#mozTocId698123> 39 Ibid 40 Tellis, Ashley J., “China’s Space Capabilities and U.S. Security Interests,” (Carnegie Endowment, 2008); 41 "China's 1st moon orbiter enters Earth orbit," Xinhua News, (10 November 2012) <http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-10/24/content_6937622.htm>

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On the other hand, Japan has a long way to go before its moon program can even get off the ground. While it has called for a moon program since 2005, it has decided to make manned spaceflight as a sort of prerequisite to lunar exploration42

Manned Space
China has placed some focus on getting its taikonauts (astronauts) up in space in order to create prestige and nationalism, which quells protests while giving China more of a voice in the international world43. It also is a long-term investment in the future of young Chinese engineers. The Chinese have slowly but surely made their entrance into the manned space realm. China was still testing missions with animals in the early 2000s, but it has made real progress thanks to its Shenzhou spacecraft and Tiangong space labs44. Japan has made little progress in the area of human spaceflight. It has made a goal of reaching independent spaceflight by 202545, but it has been placed the issue on the backburner. Still, Japan has had astronauts on the ISS, even though it was not independent human spaceflight.

Conclusion
With enough time, Japan will be one of the most powerful players in space due to its unique launch vehicle program and its emphasis on technology development and investment in the long run. The biggest concern for Japan is its lack of progress on its manned and lunar missions. However, in the short run, if
42

"Japan hopes to launch manned space shuttle to moon in 20 years," Xinhua News (6 November 2012) <http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-04/06/content_2794744.htm> 43 Poduval, Sanjay, “China's Military Space Capabilities,” Maritime Affairs: Journal of the National Maritime Foundation of India, vol. 7, issue 2, (2011): pp. 85-101; 44 David, Leonard, "China Details Ambitious Space Station Goals," (10 November, 2012) <http://www.space.com/11048-china-space-station-plans-details.html> 45 "Independent human spaceflight sought by Japan," Spaceflight Now, (18 November 2012), <http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1202/09jaxa/>

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China can deny Japan access to space by dominating low-earth orbit, China could prevent Japan from reaching its full potential (assuming that LEO is a chokepoint). Furthermore, Japan’s growth is going to be dependent on its relationship with the US. The Taepodong-1 test made Japan’s space program a lot more militaristic, but Japan must make sure to not spurn the US in the process. China is in an interesting spot because it wants to move towards space dominance, while at the same time, deny the use of space by any other Asian powers. It must continue to fund its space launch program, despite the inhibitions of certain members of the Communist Party. One thing that is clear for sure is that both countries, like every other country, wants to eventually become the hegemon in space. The only question is whether they can balance this long term goal with the short term threats of the US and other regional powers.

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