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Aerospace & Defense

Japan's fledgling space force targets satellite protection

Tokyo seeks closer cooperation with US against new security risks

The NanoRacks debris-removal satellite is deployed by the International Space Station. Tracking space junk will be one of the space force's missions. (photo courtesy of NASA)

TOKYO -- Japan's Self-Defense Forces has established its first dedicated squadron for space operations, aiming to track suspicious satellites and space debris to protect the nation's spy satellites starting around 2023.

As an initial step, the roughly 20-person team, part of the Air Self-Defense Force, will focus on training personnel and planning surveillance methods, as well as hammering out a framework for cooperating with the U.S.

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