I received this word from Shuichi Ohno, Chairman of the Japan Space Elevator Association (JSEA):
We at JSEA have institutionalized from private organization to Aggregate Corporation in this month, and now, we are planning to hold a new type of space elevator climber competition in Japan on August 8-9.
This competition is focused especially on climber mechanism, a mechanism for faster climbing speeds. We will use 12V battery for power, making it easier to join than the Power Beaming competition in USA. Entry fee will be $100 (and insurance fee) for 1 team.
We already have started promotion of this competition in Japan, and 3-4 teams from 2 universities have already expressed their interest. Another several universities are now considering.
We have to start small due to our limited budget, but we will try to hold a competition every 6 months. Perhaps, we will not have any prize except the honor of “The fastest climber in Japan or world”…
We will support 150-200m tether by 4.5m diameter helium balloon. Next Monday, we are going to have the first field balloon and tether test.
So, this is great news, of course – it’s wonderful to see Japan get more involved in this type of endeavor.
An official announcement of this competition, the “1st Japan Space Elevator Technical & Engineering Competition” is on the JSEA Website. The announcement is in Japanese of course. An English translation is in the works and, when ready, will be posted here. In addition, I will post any and all information I receive from the JSEA on these Games.