On Feb. 27, Minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi visited the Fuchu Air Base of the Air Self-Defense Force (in Fuchu, Tokyo) and inspected training at the ASDF’s Space Domain Mission Unit, which is tasked with monitoring space debris and meteors that could endanger artificial satellites.
At the base, a senior member of the unit briefed Kishi on how the team monitors and analyzes artificial satellites and debris near the Earth using simulators.
The unit was launched in May 2020. Construction is currently underway of a space-monitoring radar in Sanyo-Onoda City in Yamaguchi Prefecture. The ASDF is working to improve data analysis capabilities and develop personnel with an eye to bring the radar into operation in fiscal 2023. (Slightly abridged)