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“The biggest GPS market in Japan is car navigation”

Mar 2006 | Comments Off on “The biggest GPS market in Japan is car navigation”

says Dr Hiroshi Nishiguchi, Secretary General, Japan GPS Council while discussing the trends in GPS applications and market in Japan


What is Japan GPS Council? What does it do?

The Japan GPS Council (JGPSC) was established in the end of 1992, as a non-profit voluntary body composed of various kinds of industries and civil GPS user community. The Aim of the Council is to secure a favorable environment for proper utilization of the GPS system, and to contribute to the stable use of, and the future worldwide development of the GNSS.

What are the current GPS research trends in Japan?

Indoor positioning and navigation using pseudolite system of the GPS like signals, so that we can expect seamless location based services.

In which direction the GPS market of Japan is moving?

Market creation in the everywhere, whoever and anytime LBS such as Ubiquitous world. The biggest GPS market in Japan is the Car navigation and its synergy effects market such as VICS (Vehicle Information and Communication Services) which provides the traffic jam information and route guidance.

What are the innovative applications of GPS in Japan?

We can list-up as follows;

(1) Construction machinery control using GPS precision positioning & navigation

(2) Remote controlled (robotics) civil engineering and construction works like TV games

(3) LBS for children security

(4) Telematics

(5) GIS works using Network type RTK-GPS services

(6) Tsunami monitoring system

How do you see the present and future of LBS in Japan?

Many applications of LBS emerges in the Japanese market but being still in cradle stage. However, it is nodoubtful the LBS business would be the next big market in Japan as well following Car-navigation. The QZSS will have a key for marketability of the LBS, with the QZSS capability of its improving ability for the satellite visibility, getting better GDOP and TTFF(time to fast fix) augment services.

What is the status of Japan’s MSAS and QZSS programme?

The MSAS is now under the in-orbit examination, and the QZSS is now under the R & D by governmental organs with coordination and cooperation with the US GPS and the EU’s Galileo frequencies. Galileo will give us the better visibility and availability increasing, together with pay service for integrity. However, as far as concern with

How do you see the emergence of Galileo?

equilibrium, it would be no problem and little impact in marketability for every GNSS applications in Japan. I see the Galileo program is a single purpose of their sovereignty issues for the EU composed countries. Perhaps, it would be diffi cult for the Galileo vehicle company to find out the business feasibility, unless otherwise getting continuous huge investment and big market for Galileo chip royalty from China, India, Korea and others. We, Japanese market and/ or industry have almost no interest in Galileo. There already exist GPS and GLONASS market in Japan


How do you perceive the US monopoly on GPS?

The successive Presidents of the US have promised to the world that the US provides continuously GPS Standard Positioning Services without direct user charges, and sustains the GPS system as the world infrastructure resources.

We would thank the US Government and civil tax payers for its GPS modernization policy and generous contribution to the world peaceful civil GPS users community. It is the fact that the US GPS SPS service policy without direct user charges obviously has been creating civil GNSS markets and businesses. Besides, the US only would be the most trusty to keep peaceful world with their philosophy and characteristics such as their intention to have the world police administrative capability.

How conducive are the Government policies for the growth of GPS in Japan?

It is understandable that the Japanese industry leads to create GNSS civilian market with their products and services, and then the Government Officers just respect its fact, so far. At present, most of the Japanese Government recognize importance of the GNSS and look GNSS future wide possibility in the every fi eld. Especially GSI (the Agency of Geographic Survey Institute) have employed many GPS-based precision surveying systems since the earlier stage, 1987. As the result, Japan achieved the establishment of the continuous GPS reference station network throughout Japan, named GEONET(GPS Earth Observation Network) with more than 1,200 GPS reference stations. This GEONET leads and supports the Japanese GIS programs at present and future. Regarding the security issues, Japanese E-911 (E-110/119 in

Japan) emergency call system Act is commencing from April 2007.


In many countries there are cultural issues that hinders that acceptability of new technologies. Do you see any such cultural issue in Japan?

Yes, we can see easily such cultural issues. However, the cultural issues could become one of the merchandising strategic tools. We can see it in the Japanese dominant of the Car-Navigation market, in contrast with the world.

Do you understand why Japan only enjoys so-growth of business of car-navigation products and related services? It can be seen that is the Japanese culture. Hinders will be candidates to become strong customers. The culture is the marketing resources. I see the market is newly created in the place enabling to make business and growth along with the appropriate product design and marketing activities.

Dr Hiroshi Nishiguchi
Secretary General, Japan GPS Council

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