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 vowed Wednesday to make more efforts to promote his Abenomics economic measures, rejecting top opposition leader Renho's demand for a shift from the policy mix. (Jiji Press)
Japan's previously announced plan to relax visa rules for Chinese visitors, aimed partially at increasing the number of repeat arrivals, will take effect on Oct 17, the Foreign Ministry said. (Japan Today)
Democratic Party leader Renho slammed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic and social policies Wednesday in her first opportunity as leader to directly go up against the premier in a question-and-answer session in the House of Councillors. (Japan Today)
A man charged with abducting a teenage girl and holding her captive for two years from 2014 denied part of the charges during the first court hearing Tuesday, saying he had not kept watch over her for the entire two years. (Japan Today)
A panel tasked by the Tokyo metropolitan government with reviewing the costs for hosting the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics plans to propose that the construction of three venues should be reconsidered, and existing facilities possibly used, a senior Tokyo government official said Tuesday. (Kyodo)