Japan successfully launches spy satellite

AFP

TOKYO —

Japan launched a new spy satellite on Friday, the country’s space agency said, as the region grows increasingly uneasy over North Korea’s quickening missile program.

The Radar 5 unit was carried into space on Japan’s mainstay H-2A rocket from a launch site in the country’s southwest.

It is meant to replace an existing satellite that is coming to the end of its mission.

Japan started putting spy satellites into orbit in 2003 after North Korea fired a mid-range ballistic missile over the Japanese mainland and into the western Pacific in 1998.

The threat has steadily accelerated and just last week Pyongyang fired four ballistic missiles, with three landing provocatively close to Japan.

Tokyo currently maintains three optical satellites for daytime surveillance and three radar satellites for nighttime monitoring. Two of those are backups.

The new satellite will succeed one of the three radar satellites that was launched in 2011.

The satellites are officially for “information-gathering”—a euphemism for spying—but are also used to monitor damage in the wake of natural disasters.

© 2017 AFP

  • 6

    roughneck

    If you announce it, it's not covert enough to be "Spy".

  • 1

    smithinjapan

    roughneck : you beat me to it! It's good of them to let everyone know, though. haha.

  • 1

    papigiulio

    "NK and China up in arms about Japan new spy satellite" newsitem in ...5...4.......3...

  • 1

    F4HA604

    @rough and smith

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ListofNRO_launches

    The US and any other respectable country also announces all their satellites. Theres a limited number of slots for satellites with their own orbits such that they don't go colliding with one another.

  • 1

    Brian Wheway

    NK next week, will claims it will launch a BIGGER and Better satellite than japan. ( I hope it will have KJU on board with a pair of binoculars )

  • 0

    Chop Chop

    The Government should have announced as Military Communication Satellite instead of Spy Satellite. The Spy Satellite will make irritate China and N. Korea.

  • 0

    toshiko

    MSNBC reported Japan did first civilian evacuation drill against missile attacks.

  • 1

    Patrick Hattman

    Japan launched a new spy satellite on Friday, the country’s space agency said, as the region grows increasingly uneasy over North Korea’s quickening missile program.

    Japan needs to do its fair share of defense, including intelligence gathering, and rely less on the U.S. in the coming years. It will take a strong, assertive, and largely independent Japan to take care of itself in East Asia and to eventually resolve long-standing territorial disputes with China, Korea and Russia.

  • 1

    toshiko

    Japan does not call current satellite as spy satellite but N Korean movement has been spied. Haven't you wondered how world get any NK actions are leaked to UN and world?

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