International Institute of Space Law

Article

Working with the Japanese New Remote Sensing Data Act

Authors Daisuke Saisho
Author's information

Daisuke Saisho
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Management and Integration Department, Space Technology Directorate I, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency,2-1-1 Sengen, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan, 305-0061.
  • Abstract

      The basic principles of space law such as the freedom of use of outer space and the UN Remote Sensing Principles, grants the freedom of remote sensing activities from outer space, and although many technological difficulties exist, as a result of continuous endeavor in R&D, the possible civil and private use of satellite remote sensing data to solve various issues is increasing in various fields such as disaster management, global environment issues, and is expected to further increase.
      The expansion of the use of Satellite Remote Sensing Data by current and new users is welcomed, however not all data could be with no restrictions. As a solution to this matter, on November 15th, 2017, the Remote Sensing Data Act came into full effect in Japan. The Act was established based on the fact that the use of satellite remote sensing data by private actors have increased, rules are necessary to prevent wrongful use, and a legal system is necessary to promote the new industry and services that use satellite remote sensing data. It is similar to the legislation related to remote sensing in many other countries that have high resolution satellites such as the U.S., Canada, France and Germany.
      The Act mainly sets an authorization regime for use of satellite remote sensing instruments, and a Certificate for the use of satellite remote sensing data, in order to ensure appropriate handling of remote sensing data. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is subject to these authorization and certificates. JAXA has worked closely with the Cabinet Office on the application, and now gains two authorization of the satellites, including the first Authorization based on this law.
      This paper introduces the legal system in brief, and how JAXA responds to the authorization scheme. Furthermore, describes the impacts of the law on the practical use of data, and suggestions for future improvements.

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