Japan has launched its first military communications satellite on Tuesday in order to improve the broadband capacity of its Self Defence Forces.
Japan’s first military communications satellite just lifted off from the Tanegashima spaceport on Tanegashima Island in southern Japan on Tuesday.
They plan to reinforce an island chain that will stretch along the southern coast of the East China Sea.
The satellite took off from the Tanegashima spaceport on an H-IIA rocket at around 7:44 am GMT.
According to a spokesperson for Mitsubishi Heavy industries, which built the launcher, the rocket successfully entered orbit.
The military operations growing past Japan’s home islands is an attempt to counter the growing Chinese military activity in the region.
The satellite is one of three planned “X-band satellites.” All three are expected to quadruple the broadband capacity, and will improve communications and allow more communications across a larger region.
Japan and China
Japan and China are both currently in a dispute over a group of islands in the East China Sea called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. They are also in a dispute over the gas fields in the regions.
China had recently increased its military activity in the area, which Japan was concerned could be an attempt to extend its military influence from the South China Sea.
According to Japan’s Ministry of Defence, from April to December, Chinese aircrafts have approached Japanese airspace 644 times, almost double the number of approaches last year.
Also, in December, China’s first aircraft carrier, the Soviet-built Liaoning, as well as many warships reportedly went through the passage between the Japanese Islands Mikado and Okinawa. These were described as routine exercises.
Japan’s launching of its satellite is an attempt to improve its military communications in order to counter Chinese military advances.