The bill has support from the two largest political parties, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the Constitutional Democratic Party.
The bill, formally known as the Law Concerning the Promotion of Business Activities Related to the Exploration and Development of Space Resources, grants Japanese companies permission to prospect for, extract and use various space resources. Companies that wish to do so must first obtain permission from the Japanese government.
“We enthusiastically support the passage of Japan’s space resources law and applaud the nonpartisan parliamentary group of diet members for taking a swift action to lead the world in this endeavor,” Takeshi Hakamada, chief executive of Ispace, a Tokyo-based lunar lander company, said in a statement.
Japan’s legislation is similar to provisions in the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2015. That law grants U.S. companies rights to resources that they extract. Luxembourg and the United Arab Emirates have since passed similar legislation.
As it was reported earlier, the US-Ukrainian company Firefly Aerospace, co-founded by Ukrainian businessman Max Polyakov, has signed a contract with Elon Musk’s SpaceX company to launch its Blue Ghost lunar lander in 2023.