Tokyo, Japan, 17 September 2006 – Japan will reportedly consider legislation that will allow for the eventual deployment of more advanced military spy satellites. A bill drafted by the Liberal Democratic Party would allow Japan to use space for “defense purposes,” which in this day and age would include monitoring the nuclear program of nearby North Korea with better imaging technology.
The newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported over the weekend that the bill would be introduced to the Diet either in an extraordinary session next week or a regular session in January. The need for better in-house satellite intelligence has become a growing issue in Japan in recent years as North Korea continues with the development of nuclear weapons and missiles that could reach Japan.
Japan has monitoring satellites in space to keep an eye on Pyongyang’s activities. The JAXA space agency last week launched the third in a planned series of four satellites.