The JANUS mission concept is designed to study the high redshift universe using a small, agile Explorer class observatory. The primary science goals of JANUS are to use high redshift (6<z<12) gamma ray bursts and quasars to explore the formation history of the first stars in the early universe and to study contributions to reionization. The X-Ray Coded Aperture Telescope (XCAT) and the Near-IR Telescope (NIRT) are the two primary instruments on JANUS. XCAT has been designed to detect bright X-ray flashes (XRFs) and gamma ray bursts (GRBs) in the 1-20 keV energy band over a wide field of view (4 steradians), thus facilitating the detection of z>6 XRFs/GRBs, which can be further studied by other instruments. XCAT would use a coded mask aperture design with hybrid CMOS Si detectors. It would be sensitive to XRFs and GRBs with flux in excess of approximately 240 mCrab. In order to obtain redshift measurements and accurate positions from the NIRT, the spacecraft is designed to rapidly slew to source positions following a GRB trigger from XCAT. XCAT instrument design parameters and science goals are presented in this paper.