Defense Ministry Wants Budget To Boost Space Watch



Defense Ministry wants budget to boost space watch

Japan's Defense Ministry plans to make its largest-ever budget request to boost its space surveillance capabilities.

The ministry is likely to ask for about 5.3 trillion yen, or 50 billion dollars, for its budget for the year that starts in April 2020. The defense program guidelines adopted last year call for boosting Japan's defense capabilities in outer space.



The ministry plans to build an optical telescope in outer space to monitor suspicious satellites and ever-increasing space debris.

It plans to introduce a system to prevent attempts to jam a communication satellite operated by the ministry. This system will be crucial as the Self-Defense Forces' units share information by way of the satellite.

The budget request also includes funds to refurbish the destroyer Izumo to have the functions of an aircraft carrier, as well as money to purchase the state-of-the-art F-35B stealth fighter jets the Izumo is expected to carry.

The ministry also plans to introduce a jamming device to block unidentified drones from reconnoitering, as well as unmanned vehicles for underwater surveillance.