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U.S. Space Command strengthens ties with Japan

Posted April. 06, 2021 07:48,   

Updated April. 06, 2021 07:48


U.S. Space Command and Japan Air Self-Defense Force have signed an arrangement to assign a Japanese liaison officer to the command. The arrangement is expected to serve as a momentum to expand the U.S.-Japan military alliance into the field of space operations beyond missile aimed at responding to North Korea’s ballistic missile threats.

U.S. Space Command said on Sunday (local time) that director generals of the two countries responsible for their space operations virtually signed the arrangement. According to the arrangement, one or two field-grade officers from Japan Air Self-Defense Force will be placed at the Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. They will be responsible for missions to support U.S.-Japan military cooperation in the space domain on a strategic and tactical level. The two countries are expected to exchange information more aggressively while expanding participation from Japan Air Self-Defense Force in major space drills organized by the U.S. “This arrangement really opens the door for greater cooperation and coordination between our two nations in the space domain,” said a U.S. Navy Rear Admiral. “We look forward to this next step in strengthening our space alliances, especially in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Japan has participated in most of the U.S.-led space drills, such as Global Sentinel, which monitors space objects and tracks satellites. It established the Space Operations Squadron under the Japan Air Self-Defense Force last May and is planning to reorganize the unit into Aerospace Self-Defense Force this year. U.S. Space Command, which is responsible for military operations in outer space, was established in August 2019 under the Defense Department during the Trump presidency. At that time, the White House said in a press release that U.S. Space Command is meant to maintain U.S. superiority in the space domain. In December 2019, Air Force Space Command became U.S. Space Force.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com