On Tuesday, the government of Japan adopted its first official plan for space security – and it will likely include counterstrike capabilities.
“The new Basic Plan for Space Policy presents a vision of the future of security, disaster prevention and mitigation, innovation, civil sectors such as space science and exploration, and rockets that support these space activities, and sets out a plan to accomplish it over the next ten years,” declared prime minister Fumio Kishida in Japanese.
The PM’s overview of Japan’s next space plan (old ones can be found here) notes “the use of outer space is accelerating as the security environment becomes more complex and severe.”
His vision is based on last December’s National Security Strategy. PM Kishida said it will include a host of space-related endeavors – such as boosting missile detection and tracking technology, AI to improve satellite image analysis, faster information transmission between satellites, use of the private sector to further space technology, and better collaboration between the space agency, JAXA, and the Defense Ministry.
It also allows for the war-renouncing island nation to develop counterstrike capability, according to The Japan Times and other local media.
Japan’s blueprint reflects the geopolitical reality that terrestrial conflicts involve space-based assets.
The US-led Combined Space Operations Center cites Ukraine’s defensive operations against Russia as one area in which commercial satellite data can provide a military advantage.
Japan has already made space defence part of its plans.
In January, the US and Japan announced they would strengthen defence cooperation across land, sea, and space – with the Americans even committing to defend Japanese space assets in certain situations. The agreement was made amid talks that touched on perceived aggression from China and deepening ties between Russia and the Middle Kingdom.
Chinese state-sponsored media at that time ran headlines demeaning Japan’s space endeavors, calling the country’s desire to be the second to ever put a human on the Moon “a joke.”
China has recently been expanding its own space-based information tracking satellite systems and offensive space capabilities. NASA administrator Bill Nelson declared, also in January, that the space race between the US and China had reached a critical moment and warned that the next two years will be crucial for gaining a foothold on the Moon.
An article in state-controlled China Military Online on Monday observed “Japan’s ambition to militarize space deserves vigilance.” Which is a typical reaction from China, even as it massively expands its military and conducts aggressive exercises in its region.
Source : The Register