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.
Its buses and trains arrive on the dot. Its engineers are famously precise. But when it comes to English, Japan is uncharacteristically sloppy. Signs are often misspelled. Taxi drivers point at phrasebooks to communicate with foreigners. Shops that take an English name to be trendy often get it horribly wrong: witness "Poopdick", a second-hand cosmetics outlet. (The Economist)
Electronic cigarettes, which do not require a flame but heat tobacco leaves to create a vapor that is inhaled, are so popular in Japan these days that demand cannot keep up with supply. (the-japan-news.com)
An anti-organized crime division of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a pair of organized crime members in the quick-strike theft of nearly two billion yen from ATMs nationwide earlier this year, reports TBS News. (Tokyo Reporter)