Author Topic: Japanese government to allow militarization of space  (Read 965 times)

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Offline S.M.A.

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Japanese government to allow militarization of space
« on: May 12, 2008, 12:07:35 »
Hmm...interesting. Perhaps this might create a demand from the Japanese for MDA products.  ;D

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080509/wl_as...tarynkoreachina

Quote
TOKYO (AFP) - Japanese lawmakers voted Friday to allow the military use of space, breaking a decades-old taboo in the officially pacifist country which has an increasingly ambitious space programme.
The move came during a rare fence-mending visit to Japan by President Hu Jintao of China, which alarmed Japan last year by conducting a test to shoot down a satellite.

A lower house committee voted to reverse a 1969 parliamentary resolution that limited Japan's use of space to non-military applications.

The bill is certain to pass in parliament as both Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's Liberal Democratic Party and the main opposition Democratic Party, which controls the upper house, support it.

Lawmakers said that Japan still opposed putting weapons into space but that the 1969 restrictions had stifled innovation, hurting Japanese companies.

Advocates also said that Japan wanted to remove any legal obstacles to building more advanced spy satellites.

"The bottom line of this bill is to stand on the principle of the peaceful use of space but for the government to use space technology to improve people's livelihoods," said a secretary to a ruling-party lawmaker who requested anonymity.

The opposition Japanese Communist Party was against the bill, fearing it would lead to a stronger military.

Japan's US-imposed post-World War II constitution says the country will never again wage war. Japanese troops have not fired a shot in anger since 1945, although the country has one of the world's largest defence budgets.


Japan has stepped up military research after North Korea stunned the world in 1998 by firing a missile over the Japanese mainland into the Pacific.

A think-tank linked to the Japanese defence ministry has also warned that China's space programme could pose a military threat.

China last year became the third country to shoot down an object in space after the United States and the former Soviet Union, when it downed an old weather satellite with an anti-satellite missile, raising Japanese fears.

Japan has been stepping up its space programme and is now conducting the most extensive probe of the moon since the US Apollo missions of the 1960s and 1970s.
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