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China and Japan take rivalry into orbit with GPS offensives

Both sides want the edge in key tech for defense and autonomous driving

Japan's Michibiki 4 (Photo courtesy of the Cabinet Office)

TOKYO -- Japan and China are rivals in many ways, but their latest competition is on a decidedly higher level: outer space. Both countries are determined to upgrade the precision of their respective equivalents of the Global Positioning System, hoping to reap benefits in defense and business alike.

Though they share the same goal, the countries are taking different approaches. Japan aims to do it efficiently in cooperation with the U.S., whereas China intends to go it alone.

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