Japan will launch its Space Domain Mission Unit in April this year as part of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force to defeat threats to its satellites and other space assets.
Japanese Prime Minister Abe said the new unit would work closely with its US counterpart recently launched by US President Donald Trump. In a policy speech before the Japanese parliament, he said Japan must also defend itself from threats in cyberspace and from electromagnetic interference against Japanese satellites.
“We will drastically bolster capability and system in order to secure superiority” in those areas, Abe said. The space unit is to be based in an existing air base at Fuchu in the western suburbs of Tokyo, initially manned by about 20 people, Japanese media reported.
The Japanese cabinet has approved a ￥50.6 billion (US$459 million) budget in space-related projects, which has to be approved from parliament.
The unit would cooperate with the US Space Command that Trump established in August, as well as the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Abe has sought greater cooperation with the US, amidst concern over increasing military capabilities of China, Russia and North Korea.