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AKIPRESS.COM - Japan is planning to launch a military space force by 2019 that would protect satellites from dangerous debris orbiting the Earth, SBS reports.
Debris – including old satellites as well as pieces of rockets and other space equipment – are orbiting the Earth and threaten to collide with functioning communications and reconnaissance satellites.
The move aims to strengthen Japan-U.S. cooperation in space, and comes after the countries pledged to boost joint work on monitoring space debris.
Japan's Defense Ministry is looking at creating the new force using personnel from the Air Self-Defense Force, the country's air force.
The unit would acquire radar and telescope facilities, jointly with the Science Ministry and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, to run its observatory operations.