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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 April 30 - May 13  > LDP, Komei, DPJ together seek legislation to promote use of space for military purposes
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2008 April 30 - May 13 [PEACE]

LDP, Komei, DPJ together seek legislation to promote use of space for military purposes

May 3, 2008
The ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties and the opposition Democratic Party are joining together to propose a bill to promote the use of space for military purposes.

The bill, if enacted, will gut the 1969 Diet resolution limiting the use of space to peaceful purposes and thus put brakes on attempts to pave the way for using space for military purposes.

Japan has made an important contribution to international space exploration, but the bill the three parties are trying to submit “will lead Japan in a completely different and dangerous direction,” says Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Yoshii Hidekatsu.

Yoshii pointed out that the bill is clearly aimed at paving the way for using space for military purposes by calling for the promotion of “space exploration to contribute to enhancing national security.”

“For politicians who advocate military buildup and for the arms industries that are seeking a business opportunity to sell military satellites and rockets, the 1969 Diet resolution is outdated. What is more, the advocates of the bill even envision development of satellites to shoot down foreign satellites,” Yoshii said.

What worries him is that if the bill is enacted, Japan’s internationally-acclaimed achievements in space technology and science, such as the moon probe satellite “Kaguya” and the asteroid probe “Hayabusa,” may be veiled in secrecy.

Japan has already launched some spy satellites. Detailed images picked up by these satellites, for example, are useful for prediction of earthquakes, tsunamis, or volcano eruptions. However, no data has been made public.

Yoshii stated that he fears that the enactment of the bill would further increase such secrecy.

“Japan is highly evaluated in the world because it has pursued space development and research based on its peaceful Constitution and the 1969 Diet resolution. Japan should maintain this direction.” - Akahata, May 3, 2008
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