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Japan Space The Military Politics

Japan To Launch a Military Space Force In 2019 150

Taco Cowboy writes Japan is planning to launch a military space force by 2019. The Mainichi Shimbun is reporting that Japan plans to create a "space force" within its existing Self Defence Force, hoping to have it operational by 2019. Japan would provide the US military with information obtained by the force as part of the joint bid to strengthen ties in space, the so-called "fourth battlefield", Kyodo news agency said, citing unnamed sources. Note that this plan, which involves simply looking into space using old civilian astronomy equipment and radar, is just the beginning. The transforming space fighters and combat mechs will presumably come later.
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Japan To Launch a Military Space Force In 2019

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  • the reality is... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 04, 2014 @10:34AM (#47599463)

    The reality, is man vs man space combat will likely never happen. Organics are too vulnerable. If there is ever combat in space, it will be via drones sniping each other over ridiculously long distances.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 04, 2014 @10:35AM (#47599479)

    The Middle East has the world's eyes, but it is no more than two drunks fighting behind a cantina compared to what happens if the Pacific Rim goes up.

    People dislike the US, but one thing America has been good at has been keeping the peace in that theater since WWII.

    The Pacific Rim affects the world. People don't realize that the casualties of WWI were dwarfed by civil wars in China, or the magnitude of people, technology, and military might in the region.

    It is understandable (and reasonable) for Japan to do what it must, especially as China starts militarizing, but I wish it would be possible for Pacific Rim nations and the US to make a treaty as binding as WTO, but to deal with territorial disputes. Likely impossible, but should that area of the world go "hot", everyone in the world will suffer greatly for it... yes, everyone, be it people in Russia, the US, Germany, Iran, or everywhere else.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday August 04, 2014 @10:50AM (#47599613) Journal

    I could have sworn that there was a non militarization of space treaty in place

    According to TFA, this 'military space force' is a somewhat hyperbolic description of orbital debris tracking(presumably for satellite protection, as such systems currently are). Depending on the local appetite for defense contracts and the diplomatic PR issues such a purely 'defensive' system will have a greater or lesser chance of becoming the target acquisition mechanism for some sort of anti-satellite system on the ground.

    To the best of public knowledge, I don't think anyone has yet followed through on some grand design to put weapons on satellites; but you can put more or less whatever you want on the ground and satellites are not known for their durability...

  • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Monday August 04, 2014 @12:02PM (#47600275)

    The problem is we always had a sort of informal treaty with the Russians that we wouldn't go after their space based assets and likewise they wouldn't either.

    The problem is the Chinese have taken an aggressive approach to neutralizing US space assets in the event of conflict. The believe they could win a conflict with the US by eliminating the space advantage the US enjoys. In fact their strategy appears to believe that US battlefield superiority is tied almost exclusively to US space based assets. I think they will ultimately be surprised by how effective such a strategy would be and how much blowback they'd get from the world after they shoot down a bunch of GPS satellites.

    Ultimately that's what this agreement with Japan is about, attempting to neutralize or degrade the ASAT (anti-satellite) capabilities of the Chinese. Japan is critically positioned to shoot down ASAT weapons fired from China.

  • by oh_my_080980980 ( 773867 ) on Monday August 04, 2014 @03:56PM (#47602099)
    Japan is a dying country with no resources. China is a growing country with a hell of a lot of resources. Which country do you want to do business with?

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_