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Domestic Legal Conditions for Space Activities in Asia

  • Setsuko Aoki (a1)
Extract

This essay compares the national space legislation of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (ROK), outlining the reasons behind the legislation and then explaining what it authorizes, the jurisdiction it asserts, and the conditions it imposes on nongovernmental space activities. The essay also compares the compensation available to victims in case of damages and governmental indemnification payments to protect victims and the space launch industry in Japan and the ROK. Differences in industry policies and dates of enactment help to account for variations among these states. However, the comparative analysis suggests that the domestic legal conditions across Asia's three spacefaring nations are similar to those found worldwide.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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1 India is currently in the process of drafting a national law. See Dept. of Space, Indian Space Research Organisation, Seeking Comments on Draft “Space Activities Bill, 2017” from the Stake Holders / Public – Regarding (Nov. 21, 2017).

2 See S.C. Res. 1718 (Oct. 14, 2006); S.C. Res. 1874 (June 12, 2009); S.C. Res. 2087 (Jan. 22, 2013); S.C. Res. 2094 (Mar. 7, 2013); S.C. Res. 2270 (Mar. 2, 2016); S.C. Res. 2321 (Nov. 30, 2016); S.C. Res. 2356 (June 2, 2017); S.C. Res. 2371 (Aug. 5, 2017); S.C. Res. 2375 (Sept. 11, 2017); S.C. Res. 2397 (Dec. 22, 2017).

3 3 Cologne Commentary on Space Law 503–46 (Stephan Hobe et al. eds., 2015); National Space Legislation: A Comparative and Evaluative Analysis (Annette Froehlich & Vincent Seffinga eds., 2018).

4 Comm'n for Sci., Tech. & Indus. For Nat'l Def., Interim Measures on the Administration of Licenses for Civil Space Launch Projects (2002) [hereinafter Chinese Licensing Measures]; see also Yun Zhao, National Space Law in China 39, 58–62 (2015).

5 “Space object” is defined rather unclearly in the Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects and the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space. See Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects art. I(d), Mar. 29, 1972, 24 U.S.T. 2389, 961 UNTS 187; Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space art. I(b), Jan. 14, 1975, 28 U.S.T. 695, 1023 UNTS 15.

8 Act No. 76 of 2016 (Japan) [hereinafter SAA].

9 Neither the Chinese Licensing Measures nor the Japanese SAA defines “space activities” in a way that is consistent with the national acts of Austria, France, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, and Ukraine. The scope of the required national authorization does not necessarily correspond with the contents of defined space activity.

10 Act No. 7538 (2005) (S. Kor.) [hereinafter Korean Act].

11 Yoon Lee, A Review of the Space Development Promotion Act of the Republic of Korea, 33 J. Space L. 123, 156 (2007).

12 The Korean Act requires preliminary registration of a satellite not later than 180 days before the anticipated date of launch. Korean Act, supra note 10, art. 8(1). The Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning may demand the rectification and supplementation of third-party liability insurance prepared by the satellite operator after reviewing this registration. Id., arts. 8(1) & 8(4).

13 A “sounding rocket” is a rocket designed to perform scientific experiments during its suborbital flight.

14 Chinese Licensing Measures, supra note 4, art. 2 (2002); SAA, supra note 8, art. 2 (ii)–(iii); Korean Act, supra note 10, art. 2(3).

16 For an unofficial English translation, see Chinese Law: Registration, Launching and Licensing Space Objects, 33 J. Space L. 437, 438–40 (2007).

17 Korean Act, supra note 10, art. 11(1)(b).

18 Chinese Licensing Measures, supra note 4, art. 3.

19 SAA, supra note 8, art. 4.

20 Id., art. 20.

21 Law of 17 Sept. 2005 on the Activities of Launching, Flight Operation or Guidance of Space Objects art. 2(2) (Belg.); Law Incorporating Rules Concerning Space Activities and the Establishment of a Registry of Space Objects art. 2(2) (Neth.).

22 G.A. Res. 68/74 (Dec. 11, 2013).

23 Chinese Licensing Measures, supra note 4, art. 5(c).

24 Id., arts. 4–5.

25 SAA, supra note 8, arts. 6–9.

26 This is usually a satellite, but in theory other types of objects are also included. A Moon rover, for example, would likely count. SAA, supra note 8, art. 2 (ii).

27 Act No. 43 of 2008 (Japan).

28 SAA, supra note 8, art. 22 (i)–(iv).

30 Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Comm., IADC Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines, rev. 1 (Sept. 2007).

31 Act No. 8714 (2007), as amended by Act. No. 8852 (2008) (S. Kor.).

32 As a result, liability does not attach to manufacturers for damage caused by space objects, either in the KSLA or the SAA.

34 See Brian R. Israel, Space Resources in the Evolutionary Course of Space Lawmaking, 113 AJIL Unbound 114 (2019).

35 “NewSpace” refers to a movement started around 2005 by new companies and ventures to develop space transportation systems and engage in new types of space activities independently from the government.

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AJIL Unbound
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