The PTC Japan Committee held its first annual seminar since the end of the pandemic emergency on 29 May 2023 in Tokyo, linking it as an affiliate program of the Japanese government’s Information and Communications Month Initiative. The seminar, titled “New Satellite Business – National Security Insights and Socioeconomic Impact,” was attended without charge by more than 70 people. Simultaneous translation was provided in Japanese and English. The event marked the successful restart of the annual seminar program.
In fact, the PTC Japan Committee has, since PTC was founded in 1980 in the United States, developed activities as a national chapter with the active participation of information and communication organizations, academic societies, and the government and individuals. PTC Japan convenes regular seminars and monthly workshops on ICT business, technology innovation, and public policy, and brings together start-up companies, researchers, public service officials, and veterans of the ICT field.
The seminar opened with introductory remarks by the PTC Japan Committee chair, Mr. Tetsuo Yamakawa, followed by the keynote presentation, a panel discussion, and closed with a reception.
The keynote address setting the scene was given by Mr. Tetsuro Kuroe, former vice minister of defense, who addressed national security issues for Japan and the implications for the future of digital infrastructure. He took particular note of recent developments in Northeast Asia and Eastern Europe, which have made national security a key concern for the Japanese government and public.
His address was followed by a panel discussion of distinguished experts on satellite technologies and network developments, new business opportunities, and national and international policy developments.
Featured on the panel were:
Mr. Yukinobu Taguchi
Director of Mobile Satellite and Land Communications Division, Wireless Department, Telecommunications Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
Mr. Timothy J. Logue
PTC Board of Governors Member and Secretary of the Board, and former Senior Director at Thales Alenia Space
Mr. Hiroyuki Yagihashi
General Manager of NTN Business Division, Business Innovation Group, Space Business Unit, SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation
Mr. Masaaki Sakamaki
PTC Japan Committee Vice Chair, PTC Board of Governors Member
LASCOM Board of Councilors Member
The panelists noted that despite the pandemic, many groundbreaking developments in terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks (NTN), that were under development prior to the pandemic, are now being implemented around the world and in Japan. These developments include satellites operating in so-called low earth orbiting (LEO) and medium earth orbiting (MEO) constellations, which can complement and compete in some cases with traditional geostationary orbiting (GEOs) satellites. Recent business alliances and mergers mean that individual, corporate, and government customers can now be offered multi-layered solutions to fit their unique requirements and coverage needs. In addition, high altitude platforms in the form of fixed wing or dirigible-style airships that can linger over a particular region from high altitude can provide an additional layer of wireless coverage. Mr. Taguchi and Mr. Yagihashi took note of how these telecommunications solutions are being implemented by the Japanese government and private entities such as JSAT. Mr. Logue provided a global overview of commercial satellite developments and their impact on operators and manufacturers. He also noted how the U.S. Department of Defense and NASA are both seeking to implement more commercial approaches in their programs. The U.S. Department of Defense, in particular, is copying the use of constellations to complement and in some cases replace large, expensive GEO satellites.
The reception was well attended and included informal discussion of how PTC Japan can show what is happening in Japan and also continue to expose small companies and start-ups to the global ICT industry at PTC’24.