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Japan's space industry to get private-sector boost

Public-private enterprise to solicit ideas and finance promising projects

An H-2A rocket lifts off from the Tanegashima Space Center.

TOKYO -- The Japanese government and four companies, including major trading house Mitsui & Co. and construction company Obayashi, are teaming up to develop the country's space business.

Under the partnership, the government will solicit business ideas from the private sector and the companies will provide part of the financing needed to commercialize the ideas. Some 20 million yen ($180,000) is expected to be funded by the companies.

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