JAXA launches intelligence satellite

Jiji Press TANEGASHIMA, Kagoshima (Jiji Press) — Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and the government-affiliated Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully launched on Tuesday an H-2A rocket carrying an intelligence-gathering radar satellite.

The H-2A Launch Vehicle No. 39 lifted off from JAXA’s Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture at 1:20 p.m. The satellite was put into orbit as scheduled.

Japan succeeded in launching an H-2A rocket for the 33rd straight time.

Japan’s information-gathering satellites, which are de facto spy satellites, are operated by the Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center. There are two types — an optical sensor satellite that takes pictures under fine weather conditions during daytime and a radar satellite capable of making observations even in bad weather and at night. Those satellites have been launched since 2003.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a statement that the government will utilize the information-gathering satellites as much as possible for national security and crisis control.Speech

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