Japan Launches First Military Communications Satellite

Tokyo, Japan on Tuesday launched its first military communications satellite to boost the broadband capacity of its Self Defence Forces as they reinforce an island chain stretching along the southern edge of the East China Sea.

The satellite lifted off from Japan’s Tanegashima space port aboard an H-IIA rocket at 0744 GMT and successfully entered orbit, said a spokesman for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which builds the launcher.

The satellites is one of three planned so-called X-band satellites, that will quadruple broadband capacity, unify a fractured and overburdened communications network and allow communications across more territory.

Japan and China are locked in a territorial dispute in the East China Sea over a group of uninhabited islands known as the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

The two countries are also at odds over the exploitation of gas fields that straddle exclusive economic zones claimed by both.

Source: Qatar News Agency