Japan will collaborate with the U.S. and others to monitor the skies for orbiting space debris, suspicious satellites and other objects, sharing its data with international partners.
The U.S. is working on a framework for sharing data on objects in orbit with the U.K., Australia and Canada -- already Washington's partners on space defense -- as well as with France and Germany. Scanning the skies from a larger number of points around the globe will help prevent oversights and make for more precise observations. The U.S. signed an agreement with Japan on space-debris monitoring in 2013 and has been calling for greater sharing of information for national security purposes.
Japan's Self-Defense Forces will set up optical telescopes and radar facilities by fiscal 2022. The Air Self-Defense Force will assemble a team as soon as April to begin preparations. Each telescope and radar would cost at least 10 billion yen ($88.8 million), putting the total cost of the project at several times that or more if multiple stations are built.
Japan will also create a system to quickly share image and other data with the U.S. Japan currently receives radar data from the American military. But the SDF has no current space-monitoring operations. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency collects observations with telescope and radar facilities in Okayama Prefecture originally built for civilian use, but hands only part of its data to the U.S.
The Environment Ministry said Friday that it has punished a 71-year-old part-time worker at Shinjuku Gyoen National Park in central Tokyo for neglecting to collect entry fees from some non-Japanese speakers. (Jiji)
The position of the Japan-U.S. alliance as the linchpin of Japanese foreign policy and security is an "unchanging principle," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a policy speech Friday hours before the inauguration of the next U.S. president. (Kyodo)
The organizing committee of the 2017 Asian Winter Games to be held in Hokkaido, northern Japan, next month has asked a Japanese hotel chain to take appropriate measures amid criticism for its owner's denial of the 1937 Nanjing incident. (Jiji)