Japan, surrounded on all sides by the sea, is a maritime nation with the sixth largest exclusive economic zone in the world. Japan has developed through maritime trade/transportation and shipbuilding industry. We have also benefited from a variety of marine fishery resources. On the other hand, in recent years, a number of threats to the oceans have become apparent, including frequent marine accidents, increasingly serious weather disasters, earthquakes and tsunamis in the ocean, marine pollution, and illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing that undermines the effectiveness of resource management. Under these circumstances, Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) has become very important as an information sharing platform/framework for sharing maritime information that can affect national-level issues (security, safety, economy, etc.) and for responding to various man-made and natural threats from the ocean.
To collect a vast amount of information from huge oceans and establish MDA system, satellite observation is essential. JAXA is contributing to MDA system by collecting data on ships and oceans using various satellites and providing the summarized information to government agencies. JAXA also conducts research and development on new satellite systems and satellite observation data analysis technology, and provides government agencies with technology and advice on satellite data utilization.