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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 February 21 - 27  > Japan places fourth spy satellite in orbit
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2007 February 21 - 27 [POLITICS]

Japan places fourth spy satellite in orbit

February 25, 2007
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency on February 24 launched an H-IIA rocket and placed the fourth Information Gathering Satellite (IGS), a military spy satellite, in orbit.

With this, the government has built a four-satellite system (as originally planned) that can spy on any part of the world at least once a day.

Taking advantage of the North Korean ballistic missile launches in 1998, the government made a plan to build the satellite-system in violation of the 1969 Diet resolution that allows the use of outer space only for peaceful purposes.

While relying on information provided by the U.S., the government intends to assess military situations in order to play a more effective role in the U.S. preemptive strike strategy.

The satellite system will be controlled and run by the Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center, an arm of the Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office.

IGS orbits and the details about its capabilities are kept behind the veil of military secrecy.
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