Feb 27, 2018: Japan Succeeds to Launch New Spy Satellite

H2A#38 just launched with information gathering satellite ‘Optical #6’, 1:34pm, JST, Tanegashim Space Center, Kagoshima 

H2A rocket #38 was launched 1:34 Japan Standard Time, February 27 with information gathering satellite optics #6 from Tanegashima Space Cener, Kagoshima southern Japan.  The satellite successfully entered scheduled orbit.  The satellite would help to monitor North Korea’s nuclear and missile development from space.
Optics satellite #6 will replace #4 that still functioning after its designed life and it carries sensors effective to photograph daytime.
It is reportedly to have resolution of about 30 cm to distinguish types of automobiles, twice resolution of satellite #4 with 60cm resolution.
Total development cost of the new satellite is about 30.7 billion JPY (about 290 million USD)and launch cost is about 11 billion JPY(103 million USD).
Japan operates two optic satellites and four radar satellites and tries to keep eyes over North Korea to photograph that country once a day at least.
In order to monitor North Korean military facilities more ,GOJ is trying to increase the number of satellites to ten, consisting of 4 optical and radar satellites each and two relaying satellites so that it becomes possible to monitor North Korea once in every 12 hours.
Gathered information is classified for security reason but GOJ released degraded photographs of natural disasters in Japan including heavy rain in northern Kyushu of last July and Mt. Shirane that erupted in January.
H2A, with this launching, made 32 consecutively successful launching with record of success at 97.3%.


Narit Air Control Radio Jammed by China; North Korea also Jamming Their Unfavorable Radio Show from Japan

Sankei Shimbun reported on February 16, 2018 that China and North Korea have tried to jam radio communication especially air traffic control and some flight departing or landing at Narita Airport have been affected several times.

Japanese government requested to Chinese government to get rid off the interference while reporting to ITU about North Korean attempts as Japan has no diplomatic relations with that country.

One such a case was May 2016, when jamming was directly aimed at air traffic radio communication between control tower of Narita and aircraft.  The same frequency of radio wave was beamed and the Narita tower switched to other frequency to avoid danger.

North Korea, too, beamed a similar jamming radio wave toward aviation traffic communication of Narita.  Those jamming from the two countries may disturb radio communication with fishing vessels in distant seas from Japan.

International Monitoring Network

To counter with those jamming from China and North Korea, Japan will show initiative to construct a monitoring network for those unwelcome radio transmission with Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

Installing state-of-the art shortwave monitoring equipments at each country, it will allow to tracking the exact source of such jamming.

Operation of this monitoring network will start in 2020.
Those three countries, too, are having a tense relations with China over East China Sea territorial disputes, reporting frequent jamming from China as it is assumed and causing negative effect to ships and aircraft trafficking.
Tokyo expects more stringent request to China to eradicate such jamming  once the international network of monitoring with Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia starts operation as it would be able to track exact source of such transmission.

Why do they try to jam our communication?

Having a tension too over East China Sea, Japanese vessels have reported frequent communication disturbance by Chinese jamming. Each time as the government requested to Chinese counterpart to get rid of that, such jamming became less right after such requests, but it usually becomes rampant again soon.

North Korea has tried to disturb radio program aired toward the closed country by a Japanese private organization calling for release of abducted Japanese nationals by North Korea by transmitting jamming.■


JAXA Succeeds in Launching Low Cost Telegraph Pole-sized Rokect for Microsats

15:11 JST February 4, 2018
The Editor
打ち上げられたロケット(3日、鹿児島県肝付町) SS-520 has been launched from Kagoshima. February 3, 2018, Nikkei
Nikkei and other media reported a successful launching of smaller rocket ‘SS-520’ by JAXA from Uchinoura Space Observation Site in Kagoshima at 14:03 local time on February 3.  SS-520 is almost as long as a telegraph pole and is one of the smallest rocket to launch satellites in the world.  
The rocket transported a microsat TRICOM-1R by the University of Tokyo into orbit after seven minutes of the launching.
The success of this launch will pave a way to expansion of space business with affordable cost as the rocket was intended to prove lower cost of launching by using civilian parts and components extensively to lower the cost.
SS-520 can be launched with about JPY 500 million ($4.6 million), much lower than JPY 4 billion for Epsilon, another solid fuel rocket and H-2A heavy lift with JPY10 billion.
The rocket incorporates commercial parts and components as used in home electronics to curtail the cost. JAXA could prove commercial off-the-shelf parts can be used in outer space. Canon Electronics, in particular, assisted the project by providing a system to control the flight path of the rocket.
Microsats, weighing several hundred kilograms, can be obtained very reasonably and private enterprises and universities can afford them. Demand for microsats is growing and one report speculates a market size of 460 units to be launched in 2023.
A constellation of microsats will produce the use of internet everywhere by trafficking of signals.  Geological data of  the ground surface will make it feasible to launch advanced services in navigation, agriculture or financing as well as predicting natural disasters.

Canon Electronics has launched a joint venture company with IHI Aerospace, Shimizu Construction and others for producing its own rocket based on this experience. The company plans to build its own launching pad in Wakayma to engage in seamless space business. Its goal is keep a launching cost less than a couple of million Yen level and to meet customers request on scheduling flexibly to appeal the global market.■


Kawaski C-2 Starts Flight Operatons at JASDF

  Kawasaki C-2, JASDF

Sankei Shimbun reported on February 1 that C-2 military transport of JASDF started regular flight operation on January 31. The indigenously developed jet transport aircraft have been deployed to Miho Air Base in Tottori at the Sea of Japan coast since March last year for testing.
The daily reported that the first flight was personnel transport for collecting of still undiscovered bones of soldiers in WW2 at Iwo To (Iwo Jima) via Iruma Air Base, Saitama, to fly to the volcanic island.
One of four aircraft assigned to the Miho base is given this mission. JASDF personnel sent the aircraft for its first mission.
C-2 was developed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries for JASDF to replace aging C-1 transport jet, a vintage of the 1970s but the first Japanese military jet transport.
Powered by two GE CF6-80C2K1F engines, C-2 has wingspan of 44.4m , length 43.9 m and height of 14.2 m. Maximum takeoff weight is 141 tons and it can fly as far as 4,500 km with 30-ton payload, and maximum payload 36 tons. Its cruising speed is Mach 0.8 at 12,200 m altitude. C-2 requires just 500 m as shortest take-off.
Its maximum takeoff weight is close to retired Lockheed C-141 with 146 tons.
JASDF plans to acquire a total of just 13 examples of C-2 at present.
JASDF C-2 Transport Demonstration


JAL Seeks For Space Travel After Supersonic Airliner

JAL Goes to Space after Supersonic Airliner: it teams up with ‘ispace,’ a space start-up

the editor, December 18. 2017


Japan Airlines (9201 TSE) announced its capital collaboration with ispace, a startup space company for seeking future habitation in outer space.
JAL will work closely with ispace for mutual promotion as well as support for operation, maintenance and space flight. JAL regards this venture as a way to create new value for the society.
This would be something related with ‘space travel,’ one of other area of JAL’s new business domains for expanding its business.  The Japanese airliner previously announced its collaboration with Boon Technologies for development of a new supersonic airliner.
JAL is one of corporate members to sponor HAKUTO lunar exploration team led by ispace. based in Tokyo.
Corporate visions of ispace is “Expand our planet. Expand our future,’ and lunar exploration is jut a step toward coming deep space exploration for expanding human habitation. The company seeks for lunar orbit flight and lunar landing as the only Japanese entratnt for Google Lunar XPRIZE.

Once bankrupt, Japan Airlines is now free from any restraint due to corporate rehabilitation supervised by the government of Japan.


Tokyo Starts to Develop Its Onw Tomahawk Soon


Japan is slated to develop its own version of Tomahawk missile
 Yomiuri Shimbun

November 20,2017
The editor

The Yomiuri Shimbun reported on November 20 that the government of of Japan (GOJ) has started to study feasibility to develop a brand new land attack cruise missile indigenously.  Initial development phase will be requested in fiscal 2018 budget plans that will start April 2018.

This is to add land attack capability to already-planned new anti-ship missile whose R&D study is going to start in fiscal 2018.

This would be the first of kind for Japan to develop land attack cruise missile; even though GOJ will insist that the new missile will be used when Japan will retake its distant island portion of its territory, presumably Senkaku Islands and such. However, theoretically, such cruise missile can be used to attack land facilities including missile launching pads in North Korea.

Such functions are already available with Raytheon's Tomahawk land attack cruise missile and GOJ officials call this new cruise missile concept ‘Japanese Tomahawk.’

Earlier this year, there was discussion among the leading politicians and GOJ to acquire Tomahawk missiles from U.S. to install on Aegis destroyers of the Maritime Self-Defense Force fleet.

Disturbed by several missile launching by North Korea particularly this year,there has been increasing talk on possible preemptive strike capability to be owned by Japan, based on assumption ‘We cannot sit down just watching those lousy North Korean missiles to be launched and coming over us.’

It should be true that ruling party LDP politicians were impressed by last April’s attack on the Syrian chemical weapons deposit by Tomahawk missile ordered by President Donald Trump.

However, the current constitution, especially Article 9, can be interpreted to prohibit Japan to own offensive weaponry and its use including preemptive strike and the ruling Liberal Democrats, actually righter than middle of the road, will be forced to issue new interpretation of the constitution that LDP wishes to amend since its birth in 1955.■


Should Japan Have Tomahawk Missiles to Attack North Korea?

Japan Studies to Have Offensive Military Bases Amid Rising Fear of North Korea


the Editor

Nikkei Shimbun reported on Saturday that the Ministry of Defense would start its study on whether Japan should possess strike capability to such enemy targets as ballistic missile facilities.  As the national defense guideline would be revised in around the end of the next year, the ministry would study introduction of the capability as deterrent to the North Korea.
Nikkei Shimbun
Japan has no capability and equipment to attack any other country as it has boasted ‘exclusively defensive policy,’ in which Japan could employ its defense forces only when it is attacked while limiting its forces for exclusive use of its defence.’
The government and the majority party officials are calling for introduction of Tomahawk cruise missile from USA by means of foreign military sales.
Japan is concerned with rapid development of nuclear and ballistic missile technologies of North Korea, including ICBMs and new type of ballistic missile converted from SLBMs.
In March, the national security study group within LDP, the majority party, advocatedadovocated to possessposess offensive military capability to enemy bases. The report was mainly compiled by Itsunori Onodera who has just inaugurated as the new Minister of Defense this week.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed his newly appointed defense minister, Itsunori Onodera, to commence works to revise the national defense guideline. The ministry of defense would hope to include its intention to acquire new capabilities to attack enemy military bases.