Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced Japan will be creating its own “Space Force,” and will be working alongside the United State’s own.
Sky News reports that Japan’s “Space Domain Mission Unit” will start working in April 2020, staffed by 20 people and based out of an airbase Fuchu. More staff will be added to the department in the coming year.
The project will cost 50.6 billion yen (est. $461 million USD) by the end of 2020, and Abe stated that it would (in Sky News’ own words) “wanted his country to defend itself from cyber threats, or from electromagnetic interference to its satellites.”
Sky News also jokingly states the project will not be for “fighting cinematic-style battles across the galaxy.” With Japan’s deep love of space operas, sci-fi, and mecha, we do have to wonder what effect it will have on Japan’s perception of the department, and recruitment efforts.
While some mocked US President Donald Trump’s proposal of a United States Space Force, it was officially founded on December 20th, 2019. Its first Commander, Air Force Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, was also sworn-in on January 14th- becoming the Space Force’s first member.
Image: Legend of the Galactic Heroes (via Forbes)