Owners of small businesses in western Osaka Prefecture have teamed up in hopes of putting a small satellite into orbit in 2005, aiming to develop a local-level space industry and revive the sagging economy.

“There are businesses using satellites for such purposes as surveys of river contamination and various scientific studies in space,” said Toyohiko Aoki, president of Aoki Co. during a regional forum arranged by the Cabinet Office earlier this year. Aoki Co., a firm in the ironworks business, is based in Higashi-Osaka.

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