TOKYO — Japan’s prime minister said Monday that his country will form a space
The Space Domain Mission Unit will start in April as part of Japan’s Air Self-
He said Japan must also defend itself from threats in cyberspace and from electromagnetic interference against Japanese satellites. Concerns are growing that China and Russia are seeking ways to interfere with, disable or destroy satellites.
“We will drastically bolster capability and system in order to secure superiority” in those areas, Abe said.
The space unit will be added to an existing air base at Fuchu in the western suburbs of Tokyo, where about 20 people will be staffed ahead of a full launch in 2022. The role of the space unit is to conduct satellite-based navigation and communications for other troops in the field, rather than being on the ground.
Abe’s Cabinet in December approved 50.6 billion yen ($460 million) budget in space-related projects, pending parliamentary approval.
The unit will
Abe has pushed for Japan’s Self-
Abe, in marking Sunday’s 60th anniversary of the signing of a Japan-U.S. security treaty, vowed to bolster Japan’s capability and
In a sign of a thaw in Japan’s recently tense relations with South Korea, Abe said he planned to
He called South Korea his country’s “most important
Abe, however, repeated his demand Monday that South Korea resolve the issue of compensation for Korean
Relations between Seoul and Tokyo nosedived after a South Korean court in late 2018 ordered some Japanese companies to compensate Korean
Abe said he is determined to settle Japan’s “unfortunate past” with North Korea, as he hopes to “sum up” his country’s postwar legacies before his term expires next year.
He reiterated his intention to hold talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un without the conditions he had demanded in the past — denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and resolving the decades-old issue of abductions of Japanese citizens by North Korea.
Part of Abe’s plan while in office is to achieve his long-cherished goal of revising Japan’s U.S.-drafted constitution that prohibits use of force in settling international disputes. Despite Abe’s push, chances are fading for the revision due to a lack of public interest and the opposition’s focus on other controversial issues such as Japan’s recent dispatch of naval troops to Middle East and questionable public record-keeping at Abe’s annual cherry blossom-viewing parties.
This story has been corrected to show the full launch of the space unit will be in 2022, not 2020.
Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi
Mari Yamaguchi, The Associated Press
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