Japan launches intelligence-gathering satellite
NHK -- Jun 12
Japan has put another satellite into orbit to gather intelligence for national security purposes.

An H2A rocket carrying the intelligence-gathering satellite lifted off from Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima, southern Japan, at 1:20 PM on Tuesday. It put the satellite into orbit some 20 minutes later.

The Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which carried out the launch, cited security reasons for not disclosing launch details, such as the altitude of the satellite release.

The de-facto reconnaissance satellite is designed to capture images of the Earth's surface from hundreds of kilometers up.

Japan operates optical and radar satellites. The optical type use high-performance cameras to take images during the day, while the radar satellites take photos at night and in bad weather using radio waves. The latest launch was of a radar-type satellite.

The Japanese government uses the satellites to monitor North Korea's missile-launching facilities and to assess the extent of damage in disasters among other things.

Japan now has 8 intelligence-gathering satellites in orbit. Six are in operation. An optical-type satellite launched in February is currently being prepared to go into operation.

Together, the satellites ensure every part of the Earth is covered at least once a day.

The government plans to increase the number of reconnaissance satellites in orbit to 10.

政府の情報収集衛星搭載の「H2Aロケット」39号機打ち上げ。 ※この映像にはナレーションはありません。ご了承ください。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
Sep 20
A policeman was stabbed to death by a knife-wielding man at a police box in the northeastern Japan city of Sendai early on Wednesday. (Jiji)
Sep 20
The date of the wedding between Princess Ayako, the youngest daughter of Emperor Akihito's late cousin, and commoner Kei Moriya was officially set for Oct 29 in a traditional ceremony held Wednesday. (Japan Today)
Sep 20
The estimated number of visitors to Japan in August rose 4.1 pct from a year earlier to 2,577,800, marking single-digit growth for the second consecutive month due to recent disasters in the country, the Japan National Tourism Organization said Wednesday. (Jiji)
Sep 20
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee adopted a plan on Tuesday to offer volunteers 1,000 yen per person a day as transportation expenses. (Jiji)
Sep 19
Flight operations at Kansai International Airport in Osaka have been restored to about half the normal level, two weeks after a massive typhoon hit the island facility. (NHK)
Sep 19
The government says the damaged access bridge for Kansai International Airport in Osaka, western Japan, will likely take around 8 months to fully repair. (NHK)
Sep 19
Shinzo Abe is poised to win a third term as head of his political party on Thursday, putting him on track to become Japan's longest-serving prime minister and realize his dream of reforming the constitution. (Japan Today)
Sep 19
The average land price in Japan as of July 1 increased 0.1 pct from a year before, the first rise since 1991, when the country's asset bubble era was ending, the land ministry said Tuesday. (Jiji)
Sep 19
Narita international airport was hit by a passenger check-in system glitch Tuesday, resulting in flight cancelations and delays, its operator said. (Japan Today)
Sep 18
The number of women aged 65 years old or higher in Japan has topped 20 million for the first time, according to estimates by the internal affairs ministry released Sunday. (Jiji)