T Nation

Japan vs. China

Here is an interesting AP story. Japan is planning on opening up a manned moon base in the next 25 yrs. They are doing this to make sure they are not surpassed by China.

What happened to the US? Are we an also ran at this point? Remember when Keneedy said he wanted to beat the Russians to the moon? A lot of industries were created by that statement.

Thoughts or comments?

Report: Japan Eyes Manned Base on Moon

By Associated Press

February 28, 2005, 1:22 PM EST

TOKYO – Japan plans to start building a manned base on the moon and a space shuttle within the next 20 years, a newspaper report said Monday.

Japan’s space agency, JAXA, hopes to develop a robot to conduct probes on the moon by 2015, then begin constructing a solar-powered manned research base on the moon and designing a reusable manned space vessel like the U.S. space shuttle by 2025, the Mainichi Shimbun said.

The space agency’s budget could be boosted six-fold to $57 billion to finance those plans, the Mainichi said.

The plans also include using satellites to send evacuation routes, locators on people’s whereabouts and alerts to cell phones in the event of major emergencies like a tsunami, the daily said.

JAXA officials were not available for immediate comment.

Japan has long focused on unmanned scientific probes. In a major policy switch last year, however, a government panel recommended the country consider its own manned space program.

Long Asia’s leading spacefaring nation, Japan has been struggling to get out from under the shadow of China, which put its first astronaut into orbit in October 2003. Beijing has since announced it is aiming for the moon.

One month after China’s breakthrough, a Japanese H-2A rocket carrying two spy satellites malfunctioned after liftoff, forcing controllers to end its mission in a spectacular fireball.

Further launches were put on hold for 15 months. But on Saturday, Japan took a big step toward re-establishing the credibility of its space program with the successful launch of an H-2A rocket that placed a communications satellite into orbit.

Copyright ? 2005, The Associated Press

Do they even send notable crap into space?

I don’t think they’ll do it ever.

Why does it matter who is first? I’d rather China and Japan both foot the bill to figure it out.

They figured out how to make better home electronics. Then GE buys one, reverse engineer it, and we get our own version. It cost more to develop technology than to obtain and duplicate technology.

This is not an attack, I’m just making sure I understand what you mean. But do you think that if America get’s back into it, a lot of industries will start up again.

My view is these were expensive industries that cost taxpayers far too much money. I don’t know if it’s true, or an urban legend, but remember the talk of the NASA’s $800 hammer.

In an even less serious note, all I can think of is who would want to live on the moon. You know how much muscle mass you would lose?

[quote]sugarfree wrote:
I don’t know if it’s true, or an urban legend, but remember the talk of the NASA’s $800 hammer.[/quote]

The $800 hammer was from the Pentagon, or so I thought.

The space program is viewed by some as a waste of money. By others a vast creation of new technology.

I think whoever takes the lead will lead in industry as well.

My two cents. Don’t really have a strong opinion on it.

I used to know a kid whose father worked at NASA. That got me frequent trips there and, once or twice, passes to mission control. The goal at the time was to eventually build an orbiting base beyond Earth’s atmosphere, not one on the moon. They had plans and models with a projected building date before the year 2000. It never got off the ground. I think for one, public interest has waned. Space is no longer that “mysterious” place it was before 5 million sci-fi hits made it viewable in your home on huge flat screen tv’s.

If it weren’t for the space program we wouldn’t have Tang, or WD-40. Now I could do without the Tang, but you take away my WD and I’m a lost soul.

Interesting – though this article speculates that China is trying to put together an Asian alliance that includes Japan and over which it could play hegemon:

All Quiet on the Eastern Front?

By FRANCIS FUKUYAMA
March 1, 2005; Page A18

The United States in recent months has been preoccupied with the Middle East and with the near-term crisis posed by North Korea’s announcement that it has nuclear weapons. But there are other long-term developments taking place that will change the political landscape of Asia in ways that will ultimately weaken U.S. influence there. Policy makers in Washington seem scarcely to have noticed, much less arrived at a long-term strategy for dealing with these developments.

Since 1945, East Asia has never had the internal cohesion or organization of Europe, with the latter’s strong multilateral institutions like the European Union and NATO. But this is beginning to change. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) joined with the three major Northeast Asian powers, China, Japan and South Korea, to form a group called Asean Plus Three in 1998. In addition, the Chiang Mai Initiative links the central banks of 13 East Asian countries and provides swap facilities in case of speculative attacks of the sort that occurred during the financial crisis of 1997-98. At the Asean summit meeting in Vientiane, Laos, last December, the organization decided to hold an East Asian Summit some time next year in Kuala Lumpur that would bring together the leaders of the Asean Plus Three group, but not those of the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, or India.

There is a great deal of irony in this development. In 1990, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohammed proposed the creation of an East Asian Economic Caucus, a multilateral grouping of East Asian powers that would deliberately exclude countries like the U.S. and Australia – a “caucus without the caucasians.” The U.S. and Australia were vehemently opposed to this. At American behest, the Japanese quietly sought to kill the idea, while the Australians worked hard to promote a more inclusive Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum as an alternative. What Asean Plus Three and the proposed East Asian Summit represent is a resurrection of the old Mahathir proposal, but this time with mighty China rather than tiny Malaysia driving the process forward. Japan, which earlier had acted as America’s cat’s paw in stopping the Mahathir plan, is now on board.

The roots of these developments lie in the Asian economic crisis, and in a series of highly effective Chinese diplomatic initiatives over the past several years. There has always been a huge gulf in perceptions about the causes and consequences of the Asian crisis between the U.S. and countries in East Asia. Americans tended to see the problem as one of crony capitalism, poor corporate governance, and flawed exchange rate management on the part of Thailand, Indonesia, Korea and other countries. The East Asians, by contrast, interpreted the behavior of the U.S. and U.S.-influenced international financial institutions like the IMF as narrowly self-interested, seeking to open up Asian financial markets to U.S. investment banks. To this day, South Koreans refer to the crisis of late 1997 as the “IMF crisis.”

In the aftermath of the crisis, Washington continued to bat down proposals from the region for new institutions to mitigate future financial shocks, like the Japanese proposal for an Asian IMF. Since the Clinton administration had little to offer the region in terms of new ideas or institutions, countries there took matters into their own hands and established the Chiang Mai Initiative and Asean Plus Three. Things have gotten no better under the Bush administration, which has made the war on terrorism the lens through which it saw regional cooperation.

The Chinese, in the meantime, were gearing up a series of multilateral initiatives of their own, including Asean Plus One, Asean Plus Three, a China-Asean Free Trade Area, a Northeast Asian Free Trade Area, and so on in seemingly endless profusion. The purpose of these proposals, it seems fairly clear in retrospect, was to allay fears of China’s growing economic power by offering selective trade concessions to various Chinese neighbors. The Chinese greased the path to the East Asian Summit last December by offering its Asean neighbors a free trade agreement that would open access to much of the Chinese market by 2010. Asean Plus Three appears to be a weak and innocuous organization. But the Chinese know what they are doing: Over the long run, they want to organize East Asia in a way that puts them in the center of regional politics. They can succeed where Mahathir failed because they are an economic powerhouse capable of doling out favors.


What should the long-term U.S. strategy be in response to these developments? One possibility is to create an alternative democratic Asia-Pacific economic partnership, built around a Northeast Asian free trade area that includes the U.S., Japan and any other countries that wanted to join. It is important that this organization evolve over time beyond trade into an economic partnership that promotes rule-of-law institutions. Like the European Union, it could demand democratic and good governance reform as a condition for membership, and serve as a powerful magnet promoting internal political change. It would offer a much deeper level of economic integration than Asean Plus Three or APEC. The U.S., Japan and Australia responded much more rapidly and generously in providing tsunami relief than Asean Plus Three, and we could seek to institutionalize this trend.

In the long run, this economic partnership could potentially serve as the basis for a security relationship as well, an alliance of Asian democracies that multilateralizes our existing relationships with Japan, Australia, South Korea and possibly India as well. But it is premature to move in this direction now. Such an organization will not solve our near-term problem with North Korea. Japan alone among Asian powers would be willing to support a U.S. effort to formally sanction Pyongyang, but South Korea would not. Under two left-leaning presidents, Seoul has moved in the opposite direction from Japan, toward a “sunshine” policy that seeks conciliation rather than confrontation with the North.

An Asian version of NATO would inevitably be seen as directed against China. Such an approach might become necessary at some point, if for example China seemed bent on provoking a showdown with Taiwan. But at present, it would polarize the region, and may prove a self-fulfilling prophecy: If we treat a rising China as an aggressive power that needs to be contained, we will undercut those very forces in China that seek engagement with the international order.

One reason why we have not been able to devise a coherent long-term strategy for East Asia is the compartmentalization of decision-making in Washington between economic and security specialists. Economists for the most part don’t like regional free-trade areas because they are trade-diverting, and felt that an Asian IMF would undercut the existing Bretton Woods institutions. In this they are quite right if economic efficiency is one’s sole policy criterion. But leaders in East Asia tend to see things in more geo-economic terms, where economic and strategic benefits are mixed. China and Japan have been competing to offer the Asean states free trade deals because they understand there will be important political payoffs apart from the economic logic. The U.S. needs to be able to play this game as well.

The exigencies of Iraq and the war on terrorism must not blind us to the fact that China’s rise will likely be the biggest geopolitical development of this generation. Dealing with rapidly rising powers has always been a great challenge and danger for the international system. We need to think seriously whether the political structures left over from the Cold War will be adequate to this task, and be creative in devising new ones.

Mr. Fukuyama is professor of international political economy at Johns Hopkins and director of the Human Biotechnology Governance Project. His latest book is “State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century” (Cornell, 2004).

[quote]hedo wrote:
The space program is viewed by some as a waste of money. By others a vast creation of new technology.

I think whoever takes the lead will lead in industry as well.

My two cents. Don’t really have a strong opinion on it.[/quote]

It used to be a way to create new technologies. Same goes for the military. Unfortunately the technology is so specialized for either the space program of the military that it really has little or no carry over to the public sector.

Who’s to say??? You nevee know what necessity will breed!

I think that if we privatized the space program you’d see a renewed, re-invigorated U.S. space race.