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.
After teasing us with a behind-the-scenes trailer showing Piko Taro with Canadian singer Justin Bieber on the set of their new SoftBank commercial, the telecommunications provider finally made the big reveal last week, by releasing several of the ads on their official YouTube channel. (rocketnews24.com)
Five Japanese companies have teamed up to re-create legendary comic book robot Astro Boy in toy form. The product marks the 90th anniversary of the birth of comic and animation master Osamu Tezuka. (NHK)
The government's Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion newly added 16 faults to a list of major active fault zones in which a magnitude-7 or larger earthquake could occur. (the-japan-news.com)
The tracks of the now-defunct Takachiho Railway in Miyazaki Prefecture - discontinued due to damage caused by Typhoon No. 14 in 2005 - have been revived as a popular tourist attraction that carried 26,000 passengers in fiscal 2015. (the-japan-news.com)
Japan's Foreign Ministry has protested to South Korea over a video clip that calls the body of water between the Japanese archipelago and the Korean Peninsula the "East Sea" instead of the "Sea of Japan". (NHK)