Japanese Government to Fund Space Projects in Developing Asian Economies

[Satellite TODAY Insider 01-04-10] Japan has agreed to provide loans to the Vietnamese government in order to carry out its $367.2 million project to build a space center and launch a weather satellite, Vietnamese officials confirmed in a statement released Jan. 3.
    The Japanese government will provide the funding under its official development assistance program to help build space satellite projects for developing economies. The funds also aim to help Japanese companies secure business related to a planned satellite launch by Vietnam, such as satellite manufacturers NEC and Mitsubishi Electric.
    In April, the Japanese government earmarked funding for the development program and announced plans to export five to 10 satellites by 2016. Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara said his country plans to send a delegation of government and corporate officials to Mongolia and Cambodia in February in the hope of winning satellite-related business.
    “We had previously opposed disbursing funds for satellite projects on the grounds that these programs should primarily serve the goal of eradicating poverty. After seeing the contracts awarded in Europe to French and Belgian firms, we have shifted our position and believe that the government should help to promote Japanese infrastructure exports,” Maehara said in a statement.
Maehara added that Japan is planning more extended low-interest, yen-based loans to emerging economies in the near future.

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