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.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday made a pilgrimage to the Ise Grand Shrine, the holiest site in Japan's Shinto religion, a day before he hosts a Group of Seven (G-7) summit nearby. (Japan Today)
A panel of Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department came up with a report on Wednesday calling for legal regulations on the so-called JK business, in which high school girls offer such services as massage and dating. (Jiji Press)
Most of the 750 million yen ($6.8 million) in relief money for victims of the powerful earthquakes that hit Kumamoto Prefecture in southwestern Japan last month has not been disbursed, local government officials said Tuesday. (Japan Today)