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Japan Space Operations Squadron Opens Training to Public for 1st Time

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Members of the Space Operations Squadron analyze the launch trajectory of a satellite on Wednesday at the Air Self-Defense Force’s base in Fuchu, Tokyo.

The Space Operations Squadron, which was established in May as the Self-Defense Forces’ first space unit, opened training to reporters for the first time on Wednesday at its headquarters at the Air Self-Defense Force base in Fuchu, Tokyo.

The unit is tasked mainly with monitoring other countries’ satellites and space debris that could collide with satellites. During the training drill, the team visualized and analyzed satellite orbits based on data provided by the U.S. military.

The SDF is currently constructing Space Situational Awareness system’s radars in Yamaguchi Prefecture that are capable of monitoring killer satellites. After beginning the operations of the system in fiscal 2023, the unit plans to strengthen the monitoring system in cooperation with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA.

After the drill, commander Toshihide Ajiki, a lieutenant colonel, said, “First of all, we would like to improve the technology required to correctly understand outer space.”