M Thomas Apple Author Page

Science fiction, actual science, history, and personal ranting about life, the universe, and everything

Why Japan and JAXA are definitely NOT the future of space exploration

November 26, 2022

Falsified space research? No problem. The “apology bow” (sha zai, 謝罪) makes it all better.

There is a reason why Japan’s newest “micro” satellite spectacularly failed to do, well, anything.

The Japan version of NASA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, called “JAXA” for some reason rather than “JAEA” — maybe the founder was a fan of X-Japan?) is riddled with incompetency and sycophancy.

Much like the rest of Japan’s government, one of the most corrupt of the world’s industrialized countries thanks to its strict “senpai-kohai” hierarchy where those at the top do no work and those at the bottom have no choice but to do what those at the top say – even if it’s illegal or immoral.

Secretaries routinely take the fall for corrupt department heads.

Underlings routinely are asked to cook the books and hide falsehoods.

Sometimes this even leads to suicide, and the courts routinely argue that such acts are not the result of institutional bullying and those in charge do not have a “legal responsibility to apologize or explain” why they force those beneath them to do illegal acts.

In the case of JAXA, those involved in research purportedly studying the long-term mental effects of living in space were actively falsifying data. They also had no idea how to assess the research and failed to keep decent research notes. This is the same problem former scientist Obokata had — a complete lack of adequate supervision.

But it’s all OK! In Japan, when you cheat, lie, or steal as a member of a government agency, all you have to do is say “I’m terribly sorry for bringing dishonor and shame to my group” in public and then bow deeply.

All forgiven!

So forget any Japan-based space project from doing anything at all.

Don’t forget that this “technologically advanced” country had a “Digital Ministry” created in 2021 and still has done very little on the whole to drag Japan kicking and screaming into the 1980s. And its first “Minister” didn’t even know how to use a computer!

Japan is a technological backwards country. And yes, I know what I’m talking about. I’ve lived here almost 25 years now, and though there are many things about Japan I love (most especially my wife and children!), the management has much to be desired.

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