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U.S. to advance space defense with allies amid China, Russia threats

  • June 18, 2020
  • , Kyodo News , 9:26 a.m.
  • English Press
  • ,

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government on Wednesday vowed to reform its space defense capabilities and enhance cooperation with Japan and other allies in a strategy aimed at addressing the threats posed by China and Russia to U.S. space operations.


“China and Russia each have weaponized space as a means to reduce U.S. and allied military effectiveness and challenge our freedom of operation in space,” said the summary of the Defense Space Strategy released by the Pentagon and containing guidelines for “achieving desired conditions in space” over the next decade.


While noting that China and Russia, which are developing jamming capabilities and ground-based anti-satellite missiles, present the most “immediate and serious threats” to the United States, the paper also warned of growing threats from North Korea and Iran.


To face up to the challenges, the Defense Department will establish a comprehensive military advantage in space such as by reforming organizations, including building out the U.S. Space Force. The Space Force was launched in December as the newest branch of the country’s military.


The strategy also highlighted the importance of working with allies, partners and the private sector, with Stephen Kitay, deputy assistant defense secretary for space policy, saying that Japan is among the countries the United States looks forward to deepening cooperation with.


“Japan has been a very close ally and growing ally in our space program,” Kitay said at a press conference, touching on a space-focused unit the Japanese Self-Defense Forces launched last month to monitor space debris and other threats to satellites.


“We’re very supportive of their activities and their further development because they recognize…as many other nations are recognizing just how critical space is and how threatened it is,” he added.

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