Japan launches optical spy satellite to keep eye on North Korea
Japan Times -- Feb 10
Japan on Sunday put a new spy satellite into orbit that is expected to help the government capture images of North Korean missile sites.

The spy satellite was carried by an H-IIA rocket launched at 10:34 a.m. from Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture. The satellite entered orbit about 20 minutes later.

The satellite, which cost ¥ 34.3 billion to develop, is equipped with a super-telephoto digital camera.

The launch, which cost ¥11 billion, was previously set for Jan. 28 but was delayed by a leaky nitrogen pipe.

The spy satellite will take over from one of seven other reconnaissance satellites believed to be monitoring North Korean missile and other developments.

The government currently operates five radar and two optical satellites, and aims to use a total of 10 in the future.

政府の情報収集衛星を載せたH2Aロケットが9日午前に種子島宇宙センターから打ち上げられました。  H2Aロケット41号機は午前10時34分に打ち上げられました。予定の軌道で衛星を切り離しました。この情報収集衛星「光学7号機」は北朝鮮の弾道ミサイルの監視や災害時の現場の確認などに利用されるということです。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
Feb 20
Japanese authorities confirmed 705 cases of the new coronavirus as of 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday. (NHK)
Feb 20
With the Japanese government announcing newly discovered cases of coronavirus infection within the country several times this month, the whole country is on edge regarding the disease. (soranews24.com)
Feb 20
Authorities in some prefectures where people are confirmed to be infected with the new coronavirus are providing multilingual information services for foreigners visiting or living in Japan. (NHK)
Feb 20
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, has announced plans to send a probe to one of Mars' moons and bring back samples from its surface. (NHK)
Feb 20
Multinational companies are avoiding travel to and from Japan over fears the country could be the next hot spot in the coronavirus outbreak. (Nikkei)
Feb 19
A man in his 60s confirmed to have been infected with the COVID-19 virus drove a total of 10 Kyodo News staff members in a hired vehicle from late January to early February, the news service said Tuesday, confirming that it had notified member organizations. (Japan Times)
Feb 19
The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a bill designed to help companies develop secure 5G mobile networks and drone technologies amid growing alarm among policymakers about the increasing influence of Chinese technology. (Japan Times)
Feb 19
Kanagawa Prefectural Police believe a high school girl committed suicide by leaping in front of a train on Tuesday morning, an incident that she possbily broadcast on social media, reports NHK (Feb. 18). (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 18
As Japan ramps up its response to the coronavirus outbreak, one of the largest sporting events in the nation will be curtailed, with participation in the Tokyo Marathon limited to elite runners and wheelchair competitors, organizers said Monday. (Japan Times)
Feb 17
As Japan grapples with the expanding new coronavirus outbreak, six more people — five in Tokyo and another in Aichi Prefecture — tested positive Sunday for the deadly virus, local authorities said. (Japan Times)