Japan moves to develop homegrown GPS

posted on January 11, 2016

With the proliferation of smartphones and other devices, the use of GPS - the global positioning system - has become ubiquitous. From pinpointing one's location to getting directions online, satellite-based navigation is driving the interactive use of online maps.

Many may not be aware, however, that the GPS is operated by the U.S. government and that Japan does not have its own satellite-based navigation system.

But Japan is looking to develop its own GPS system in the near future that will make use of something called the quasi-zenith satellite system, which will be more precise.

The government says QZSS will play an important role in space policy and strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance by working in tandem with GPS. It expects the system to be a boon for the private sector in developing convenience-based services and products.

"The QZSS will strengthen industrial global competitiveness and make industry, daily life, and public administration more sophisticated and efficient," the Cabinet Office claims on its website.

"(It) will also contribute to welfare of the Asia-Pacific region, enhancement of Japan's presence there, a closer Japan-U.S. partnership, and broad areas of security, including improvement in the capacity to respond to natural disasters," it says.

Some experts said Japan's reliance on GPS could cause trouble during U.S. emergencies.

source by japantimes
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