After passing the HR this coming week, the bill will pass to the HC, where it is expected to pass, although it is worth noting that on this issue, as on other defense issues, there are dissenting opinions within the DPJ, including (I would suspect) members from the party’s left-wing-heavy HC caucus.
There are a few relevant questions about this bill.
First, why is the DPJ signing on to this initiative? I suspect that the DPJ is inclined to support this because it gives Japan military capability independent of the US. With higher resolution satellites, Japan would be that much less reliant on the US for information in the event of a crisis (say, a missile launch from North Korea). With the DPJ interested in more autonomy, it is little surprise that the party supports the development of more advanced Japanese space assets.
Second, why now? Is this just another step in Japan’s “Sputnik moment,” the prolonged reaction to North Korea’s 1998 Taepodong launch?