Japan has launched a new space defence unit to monitor and counter threats to the country’s satellites, the PA reports.
The Space Operations Division, which is part of the Japanese Air Force, is expected to increase to 100 people when it becomes fully operational in 2023.
The unit’s role is mainly to monitor and protect Japanese satellites from enemy attacks or space debris. It will also provide satellite navigation and communication to other troops in the field.
The launch of the new unit takes place against the backdrop of Japan’s growing concern that China and Russia are looking for ways to interfere, disable or destroy satellites.
The unit will cooperate with the U.S. space command established by President Donald Trump last year, as well as with the Japanese Space Research Agency, Japan’s Aerospace Research Agency, Defense Minister Taro Kono said.
“It’s important that we get superiority in space, too,” Kono said at the launch ceremony. “We must adapt to the new security environment as soon as possible.