The US and Japan will boost military cooperation in space to counteract China’s growing capability to shoot down satellites, a leading Japanese daily reports. The plan follows recent moves to increase space-based intelligence sharing between the states.
The plan comes as part of the revised Guidelines for Japan-US Defense Cooperation, due to be published by the end of the year, Asahi Shimbun reported on Wednesday.
The plan will fundamentally alter Japan’s previous commitment to the peaceful utilization of space, and put an end to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) only monitoring Japanese space satellites.
The space surveillance functions will be conducted by a special unit to be created within Japan’s Self-Defense Forces after 2018. JAXA’s surveillance functions will be relegated to the new unit in phases.