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Japan to propel private sector's liftoff into space

Government will help limit financial risks, assist promising startups

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An H-2A rocket lifts off from the Tanegashima Space Center to launch a Japanese spy satellite.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Japan will support private companies' push into the space business by facilitating public lending and offering assistance to cover financial damages from catastrophic accidents.

Under a space business plan to be compiled in May, Tokyo will set up a system designed to limit risks associated with operating satellites. Currently, a program combining private insurance and government guarantees helps cover liabilities resulting from rocket launches. This program would be expanded to cover accidents in space, such as satellite collisions. 

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