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International relations

Japan, U.S. eye satellite data-sharing for counterstrike operations

Allies start weighing specific steps to bolster bilateral response in emergencies

A rendering of a U.S. military satellite. Japan would be able to employ data from such assets for defense purposes. (Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

WASHINGTON -- Japan and the U.S. paved the way to start planning specific ways to deploy counterstrike capabilities in their joint defense and foreign policy talks Wednesday, including through sharing intelligence from spy satellites.

In a joint statement from the "two-plus-two" meeting, foreign and defense ministers from both sides outlined future bilateral planning for potential contingencies in the region. An attempt by China to unify with Taiwan by force would pose an emergency for Japan, given its proximity to the Taiwan Strait. North Korea continues to test-launch ballistic missiles.

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