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Japan To Launch a Military Space Force In 2019

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the wave-motion-gun dept.

Japan 150

Taco Cowboy writes Japan is planning to launch a military space force by 2019. The Mainichi Shimbun is reporting that Japan plans to create a "space force" within its existing Self Defence Force, hoping to have it operational by 2019. Japan would provide the US military with information obtained by the force as part of the joint bid to strengthen ties in space, the so-called "fourth battlefield", Kyodo news agency said, citing unnamed sources. Note that this plan, which involves simply looking into space using old civilian astronomy equipment and radar, is just the beginning. The transforming space fighters and combat mechs will presumably come later.

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But what of the children... (5, Funny)

hooiberg (1789158) | about 2 months ago | (#47599367)

... required to operate those space mechs? Child Labour is frowned upon, these enlightened days.

Re:But what of the children... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599411)

Are you confusing Japan with China?

Re:But what of the children... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599555)

I think this is a reference to Evangelion, Gundam Wing or any of a number of other Japanese television shows involving mechs piloted by teenagers.

Re:But what of the children... (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 2 months ago | (#47599675)

It's funny, this is actually dealt with in Gundam X. The captain of the ship that everyone rides around in was a veteran child soldier who fought in the war that ruined everything. He wound up with pretty bad PTSD.

Re:But what of the children... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599729)

Are those Japanese animays?

I'm an American who has very limited interest in and very limited exposure to Japanese culture. So I was kind of taken aback a couple of weekends ago at a family gathering, when one of my sister's kids started showing us some animay videos on his phone.

I grew up in the 1970s, so I'm no stranger to shitty animation techniques. But even the cartoons we had in the 1970s were of a much higher quality than the modern-day animay my nephew showed us. The animay videos had about one frame every 5 or 10 seconds, and the drawings were extremely crude.

The storylines he described were really odd, too. Like you've pointed out, they involved teens and robots and weirdness. While an American cartoon like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shares some of those themes and oddness (maybe due to it being based on East Asian culture somewhat?), it's obviously not meant to be taken seriously. The Japanese stories were meant to be taken as serious, though, at least from what I could tell.

Can anyone tell me why, for a country and culture that's otherwise very advanced and technologically-capable, the quality of Japanese animation is just so damn poor?

Why are the storylines so odd, and why do they repeatedly involve young teenagers who are under the tutelage of some older man?

I hope that some mod here doesn't misinterpret these legitimate questions as a "troll" or something stupid like that. I'm just an American trying to better understand Japanese culture, and maybe somebody here can help me.

Re:But what of the children... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599777)

You grew up in the '70s and never saw Speed Racer? Yeah, totally not trolling here.

Re:But what of the children... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599795)

You grew up in the '70s and never saw Speed Racer?

Or Voltron or Battletech or ...

Re:But what of the children... (1)

CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) | about 2 months ago | (#47600635)

Or "Battle Of The Planets", featuring G-Force>

Re:But what of the children... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599793)

I have no idea what you watched... but go check Unicorn Gundam or Wings of Honneamise or Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and say they are poorly animated!

In the end, there are a lot of crappy western animations as well - Japan is just no different. It boils down to how much money an the production house got for the project.

Re: But what of the children... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599829)

The crude amimations are due to each anime series having lots of episodes done in a short amount of time.

And the confusing plot is simply a culture thing.

Re:But what of the children... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47600501)

Anime. And go watch Dora the Explorer or any number of Disney animated television shows for comparison. Don't generalize; lots of good animation is done in both countries. Watch a few Miyazaki movies, or Evangelion, or Ghost in the Shell, or Akira. Some studios are better than others. Stay away from Naruto and Fullmetal Alchemist and the like; it seems to be that the more popular the show, the worse its animation and story. Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender even though it's American. Understand that Japanese culture has a great many tropes [slashdot.org] that the US does not, and most anime are rehashed examples of older stories, similar to how the US keeps making generic superhero movies, generic love stories, etc.

Btw, anime isn't taken seriously in Japan, as far as I know. It falls into the same category as TMNT, which yes, was a Japanese invention.

Re:But what of the children... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47601351)

Btw, anime isn't taken seriously in Japan, as far as I know. It falls into the same category as TMNT, which yes, was a Japanese invention.

No, TMNT was not a Japanese invention. Some of the characters are Japanese but the guys who wrote and drew the original comic are from New England and are about as white as they come.

But what of the children... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47600537)

You don't need children for day to day peacetime operations. It's only when the war turns desperate that you really need them.

Also the best child pilots are invariably the ones that aren't part of the program and just wanter onto the base anyway so may as well maintain plausible deniability until that point.

good thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599389)

super villians and aliens are such a nusiance. Superman is really busy, so spending the money on this is way overdue.

And there you have it... (1)

Majestix (41486) | about 2 months ago | (#47599395)

...just the right event to kick off a new space race.

Strategic coverage (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599407)

Which of the hypothetical weapons is slated to protect us from Planet Bankruptcy?

Re:Strategic coverage (1)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | about 2 months ago | (#47599445)

GX-01.

Re:Strategic coverage (1)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | about 2 months ago | (#47599467)

*EVA-01. >:(

Re:Strategic coverage (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about 2 months ago | (#47599605)

SDF-1

Re:Strategic coverage (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 months ago | (#47599805)

Don't worry, Japanese Reagan is confident the wealth will start to trickle down any day now!

Re:Strategic coverage (1)

lgw (121541) | about 2 months ago | (#47601145)

You joke, but the Japanese have tried that, and almost every other economic idea imaginable over the past 25 or so years of recession. It shows how far our collective understanding of economics is from anything useful. The only dependable advice is "don't pick up that much debt in the first place". Advice which every modern nation seems determined to ignore at any cost (well, not just modern, most throughout history as well).

Re:Strategic coverage (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | about 2 months ago | (#47601307)

Regardless, visit Japan and you'd never know their economy had been stagnant for over two decades. I'd take that kind of stagnation to American "growth" any day. They may be running a huge deficit, but at least the money seems to be used more productively than it ever is in the US. I'd love to see the kinds of massive infrastructure projects they undertake introduced over here. Stimulus spending in America consists of pointless and useless beautification on some stretch of road, not a new bridge link to cut travel times by half and foster local development.

I've suspected that their economy has stagnated because Japanese companies have expanded as far as they possibly can. The only way to rekindle growth is to engage in the kind of ingenuity and risk taking which Japanese may not be capable of. I certainly don't think this is something the government can fix. It's either that or US-style cost-cutting and layoffs. Although, while that would give the illusion of growth in the short term it would also gut their core competencies.

Re:Strategic coverage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47601627)

>They may be running a huge deficit

That just means that when the ceiling falls in, it will be so devastating that they'll wind up as the 51st state.

Re:Strategic coverage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599835)

Which of the hypothetical weapons is slated to protect us from Planet Bankruptcy?

Speaking of hypothetical, you act as if this money has to be paid back to someone at some point...

Re:Strategic coverage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47600253)

you act as if this money has to be paid back to someone at some point

You act as if interest isn't accrued and serviced every day.

Re:Strategic coverage (1)

scubamage (727538) | about 2 months ago | (#47601719)

Wave motion gun, obviously.

non military space agreement?? (3, Informative)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 months ago | (#47599431)

I could have sworn that there was a non militarization of space treaty in place

Re:non military space agreement?? (4, Informative)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 months ago | (#47599547)

looks like i was correct - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

It exclusively limits the use of the Moon and other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes and expressly prohibits their use for testing weapons of any kind, conducting military maneuvers, or establishing military bases, installations, and fortifications (Art.IV). However, the Treaty does not prohibit the placement of conventional weapons in orbit. The treaty also states that the exploration of outer space shall be done to benefit all countries and shall be free for exploration and use by all the States. The treaty explicitly forbids any government from claiming a celestial resource such as the Moon or a planet, claiming that they are the common heritage of mankind.[3] Art. II of the Treaty states that "outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means". However, the State that launches a space object retains jurisdiction and control over that object.[4] The State is also liable for damages caused by their space object.[5]

Re:non military space agreement?? (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 months ago | (#47599609)

damn tablet double tap.

I wonder how they will define "WMD" vs "conventional" weapons. wouldnt a conventional weapon shot from space at the earth have a much higher velocity than the same weapon used on earth?? I just dont see the need to weaponize space

Re:non military space agreement?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47600167)

| ... free for exploration and use by all the States ...

Doesn't say anything about other countries... Just for the US states.

Re:non military space agreement?? (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 months ago | (#47600373)

"states" generally refers to other nations in context of the world view

Re:non military space agreement?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47600955)

As if anyone gives a shit about that silly agreement.

That thing was written up when we were clueless morons in the naive ages.

Space will become the next battlefield. Space mining is going to happen. This century. Likely the latter half of this century it will be in full swing.
The fact that there is near limitless supplies of minerals won't stop people fighting for them, nor will the primary companies that go out to mine for them be all nice as they are now, they will jack prices up just like any other corrupt resource company will.

Re:non military space agreement?? (3, Informative)

Meneth (872868) | about 2 months ago | (#47599577)

Yes, the Outer Space Treaty [wikipedia.org] . Japan has signed and ratified it. However, as Wikipedia says, "the Treaty does not prohibit the placement of conventional weapons in orbit."

Re:non military space agreement?? (4, Interesting)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 2 months ago | (#47600275)

The problem is we always had a sort of informal treaty with the Russians that we wouldn't go after their space based assets and likewise they wouldn't either.

The problem is the Chinese have taken an aggressive approach to neutralizing US space assets in the event of conflict. The believe they could win a conflict with the US by eliminating the space advantage the US enjoys. In fact their strategy appears to believe that US battlefield superiority is tied almost exclusively to US space based assets. I think they will ultimately be surprised by how effective such a strategy would be and how much blowback they'd get from the world after they shoot down a bunch of GPS satellites.

Ultimately that's what this agreement with Japan is about, attempting to neutralize or degrade the ASAT (anti-satellite) capabilities of the Chinese. Japan is critically positioned to shoot down ASAT weapons fired from China.

Re:non military space agreement?? (2)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 2 months ago | (#47600829)

It's de facto exactly the same. In the case of a war, any sort of informal treaty with Russia would have been forgotten and we would have taken out the other's space based assets. Of course. It's not like "they're raining death down on us from above...but we're powerless to stop them! We have an informal treaty!"

And certainly China doesn't believe it could "win" a conflict with the US. And the US military procedures and military systems are designed with the idea that GPS may become unavailable (anyway, GPS signal can simply be jammed).

Re:non military space agreement?? (1)

byornski (1022169) | about 2 months ago | (#47601725)

Even formal treaties involving WMD do not seem to apply once war starts: NATO Nuclear Weapons Sharing [wikipedia.org]

Re:non military space agreement?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599583)

All politicians in power are liars. It's a job requirement.

Re:non military space agreement?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599587)

It's called the Outer Space Treaty. Japan has ratified they treaty.

But as far as I understand it only bans placing nukes in outerspace.

Re:non military space agreement?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47600459)

Yeah. LEO is not Outer Space.

Re:non military space agreement?? (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 months ago | (#47599613)

I could have sworn that there was a non militarization of space treaty in place

According to TFA, this 'military space force' is a somewhat hyperbolic description of orbital debris tracking(presumably for satellite protection, as such systems currently are). Depending on the local appetite for defense contracts and the diplomatic PR issues such a purely 'defensive' system will have a greater or lesser chance of becoming the target acquisition mechanism for some sort of anti-satellite system on the ground.

To the best of public knowledge, I don't think anyone has yet followed through on some grand design to put weapons on satellites; but you can put more or less whatever you want on the ground and satellites are not known for their durability...

Re:non military space agreement?? (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 months ago | (#47599695)

So it's more like a Space Coast Guard than a Space Navy?

Re:non military space agreement?? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 months ago | (#47599975)

It depends on the orbit of course; but the metaphorical waters are muddied a bit because it's more like a Space Coast Guard than a Space Navy; but in a world with every country with an enthusiasm for missiles or lasers has its own personal Strait of Hormuz, a mixture of everybody's military and civilian shipping passes through all of them every 90 minutes or so, and if some asshole forgets to anchor his dingy it might break into hundreds of lethal fragments and sink a couple of oil tankers and a bulk carrier more or less anywhere...

So...yeah.

Re:non military space agreement?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47600431)

To the best of public knowledge, I don't think anyone has yet followed through on some grand design to put weapons on satellites

The Soviets put a 23mm autocannon on their Almaz space station.

They also created a nuclear orbital bombardment system to put warheads into low Earth orbit to attack the US. It was called (in English) FOBS; Fractional Orbital Bombardment System. The LEO boosters and de-orbit systems were tested with dummy warheads and the system was put into service in '69. Their command economy couldn't sustain further development so they traded it in for SALT II negotiating points.

Re:non military space agreement?? (0)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 2 months ago | (#47599633)

I could have sworn that there was a non militarization of space treaty in place

That thing was drafted nearly 50 years ago, when just a handful of nations could manage to put a potato in orbit. That's such 20th century thinking. Welcome to the new age.

Re:non military space agreement?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599681)

"The Outer Space Treaty represents the basic legal framework of international space law. Among its principles, it bars states party to the treaty from placing nuclear weapons or any other weapons of mass destruction in orbit of Earth, installing them on the Moon or any other celestial body, or to otherwise station them in outer space. It exclusively limits the use of the Moon and other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes and expressly prohibits their use for testing weapons of any kind, conducting military maneuvers, or establishing military bases, installations, and fortifications (Art.IV). However, the Treaty does not prohibit the placement of conventional weapons in orbit." - basically, do whatever you want in space, just don't bring nukes with you.

Re:non military space agreement?? (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 months ago | (#47599707)

Japan Announces a Military Shift to Thwart China
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/02/world/asia/japan-moves-to-permit-greater-use-of-its-military.html [nytimes.com]

Japan's prime minister announced a reinterpretation of the country's pacifist Constitution on Tuesday, freeing its military for the first time in over 60 years to play a more assertive role in the increasingly tense region.

The antiwar Constitution remains enough of a touchstone for many in Japan that the reinterpretation has spurred rare street protests, and even the self-immolation of a lone protester in Tokyo this week.

The Obama administration said Tuesday that it welcomed Japan's action, adding that it would aid the country's armed forces to "do more within the framework of our alliance."

This is all about China.
Even the source article [mainichi.jp] brings up China.

Yes. YES YES YES. (2)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 months ago | (#47599439)

Bring on space battles. I want space battles in my life time. I know aliens probably won't happen and neither will colonizing aonther planet or even the moon, but at least let me have space ship battles.

Re:Yes. YES YES YES. (1)

shemyazaz (1494359) | about 2 months ago | (#47599473)

I now have the Space Battleship Yamato theme stuck in my head.

Re:Yes. YES YES YES. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599607)

I now have the Space Battleship Yamato theme stuck in my head.

I was hoping for a SBB Yamato reference, and then I saw the submission's department. Bonus points to the mods for the reference!

Re: Yes. YES YES YES. (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | about 2 months ago | (#47599863)

Me too. Is a very good theme

Re:Yes. YES YES YES. (1)

gigaherz (2653757) | about 2 months ago | (#47599499)

Hmm do you expect to survive less than 20 years into the future? Because there's plans to establish moon bases before then.

Re:Yes. YES YES YES. (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 months ago | (#47599723)

In 1959 [army.mil] there were plans to establish a moon base before 1970... Complete with anti-cosmonaut mines to keep the commies away and an org chart. We ended up not doing that.

Re:Yes. YES YES YES. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599911)

Ooooh wow and I have plans to insert my seed launcher into Scarlett Johansson.

You space idiots are really something. You're like a doomsday cult that keeps getting the date wrong, but you still attract new nutcases anyways.

Re:Yes. YES YES YES. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47600033)

You ridiculous pathetic child.

Another Space Nutter unmasked for the pathetic misanthropic imbecile he really is.

Re:Yes. YES YES YES. (1)

Cardoor (3488091) | about 2 months ago | (#47600123)

i hear ya, but recognize.. they wouldnt be anywhere near as cool as the movies make em out to be. no explosions w/o O2... just a lot of crumpling and squishing.

the reality is... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599463)

The reality, is man vs man space combat will likely never happen. Organics are too vulnerable. If there is ever combat in space, it will be via drones sniping each other over ridiculously long distances.

Re:the reality is... (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 2 months ago | (#47599689)

If we ever get to that point, it might also be the end of the space age. With billions of small particles in orbit from all the blown up drones, there won't be a safe orbit left for civilian satellites.

This is what I fear... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599479)

The Middle East has the world's eyes, but it is no more than two drunks fighting behind a cantina compared to what happens if the Pacific Rim goes up.

People dislike the US, but one thing America has been good at has been keeping the peace in that theater since WWII.

The Pacific Rim affects the world. People don't realize that the casualties of WWI were dwarfed by civil wars in China, or the magnitude of people, technology, and military might in the region.

It is understandable (and reasonable) for Japan to do what it must, especially as China starts militarizing, but I wish it would be possible for Pacific Rim nations and the US to make a treaty as binding as WTO, but to deal with territorial disputes. Likely impossible, but should that area of the world go "hot", everyone in the world will suffer greatly for it... yes, everyone, be it people in Russia, the US, Germany, Iran, or everywhere else.

Re:This is what I fear... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47600265)

People dislike the US, but one thing America has been good at has been keeping the peace in that theater since WWII.

yep world would have ended if it wasn't for you guys, thanks for murdering my parents in Baghdad I'm sure whatever they were doing would have ended the world, or they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time...

Re:This is what I fear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47600609)

Your welcome.
Allahu akbar.

Re:This is what I fear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47600691)

an entire nation of human garbage

Space Junk Chain Reaction (3, Insightful)

Scottingham (2036128) | about 2 months ago | (#47599485)

Yes, what a great idea! Lets blow shit up in space making *anything* in orbit impossible.

Who needs weather satellites, GPS, and communication equipment anyway?

Re:Space Junk Chain Reaction (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 months ago | (#47599517)

You could blow the junk into smaller pieces so they will burn up faster too.

But a military space race would be a good thing towards progress in space.
It gives governments reasons to invest into space.

Plus they will need to build up so they are not the wimpiest ones in space.

Re:Space Junk Chain Reaction (1)

Meneth (872868) | about 2 months ago | (#47599553)

Even small pieces won't burn up at all unless you push them downwards into the atmosphere first. Explosions tend to push things in every direction, including up and sideways, which is something we really don't want.

Re:Space Junk Chain Reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47600827)

Smaller pieces tend to experience proportionately more aerodynamic drag and photon pressure from sun light. While it can still be a low process, the size of material makes a big difference on how fast it de-orbits on its own, even in orbits above LEO.

Re:Space Junk Chain Reaction (1)

lgw (121541) | about 2 months ago | (#47601181)

The atmosphere is not a yes/no thing. There's not much drag in LEO, but it's not 0. Over time, orbits there decay. And the more non-circular an orbit (as tends to be the case from explosions), the more likely it will pass through thicker atmosphere at perigee. Just one more case where if violence isn't solving your problem, you're not using enough of it.

Re:Space Junk Chain Reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599955)

I seriously hope someday the public understands the notion of "opportunity cost" and that it is not true that "the ends justify the means."

Otherwise, we're doomed.

Re:Space Junk Chain Reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47600481)

I think that sword has 2 edges. Sure, many eggs in many baskets and all that, but I think this would cause earth resources to be used up at an alarming rate, very much more so than they are now. That is unless there are some truly breakthrough technologies that emerge. I think it would take more than an energy source as well. We aren't going to be building any space objects of 'sci-fi' proportions without cannibalizing much of what's around us. It would suck to *have to* leave this planet because we decided it might be nice to leave this planet....

Then again, I probably watch too many movies.

Re:Space Junk Chain Reaction (1)

wiggles (30088) | about 2 months ago | (#47599619)

All of that is secondary to survival, and until we figure out how to make government leaders stop being such assholes, threatening each others' populations with annihilation, we're going to need plans for defense - and if the enemy leverages space for any tactical or strategic advantage, then so must we.

That said, the article says they're just using telescopes to track stuff in space for military purposes, not building Gundams, so you can untwist your panties now that you know this.

Re:Space Junk Chain Reaction (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599803)

Though in principle, I agree "no space war" -- Japan is just desperate due to the pressure from Manga and Anime to build space flying battle suits.

We may get a few tiny mummified bodies floating in space encased in really impractical anthropomorphic battle suits that die because the giant sword threw off their flight profile and occupant spiraled into a roller coaster 'death vomit". Really, there's nothing here to worry about -- it's a self correcting problem.

Re:Space Junk Chain Reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599987)

If you stock up on Sextants now you might make a killing in 2020

Re:Space Junk Chain Reaction (2)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 2 months ago | (#47600521)

what a great idea! Lets blow shit up in space

FTFA: "The term brings to mind dystopian visions of fighters patrolling near space, but will actually revolve around protecting satellites from space debris orbiting the Earth."

Re:Space Junk Chain Reaction (1)

bmajik (96670) | about 2 months ago | (#47600527)

Who needs weather satellites, GPS, and communication equipment anyway?

In the modern world, we all do. Which is why we should be more alarmed that all of these things are so very vulnerable to an increasingly long list of state-actors who don't like the West, and are so difficult to replace on short notice.

We've "gotten away with it" for a long time now. But any honest person knew those days were numbered.

At some point, we're going to have to really deal with the problem of space junk, and with the problem of space warfare as a prolific source of new space junk.

Awesome! (2)

Dan East (318230) | about 2 months ago | (#47599521)

Let's hope it's comprised of 5 giant mechanical lions that can combine together into a single massive mechanical humanoid.

Re:Awesome! (3, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 months ago | (#47599557)

Hopefully they hire better pilots. The last massive mechanical humanoid pilots didn't think to use their giant sword (with a 100% effectiveness rating against giant space monsters) until after they've tried other methods that had nearly 0% effectiveness.

Starblazers (1)

DrRobert (179090) | about 2 months ago | (#47599543)

Space Battleship Yamato.... finally...

Fire ... the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599545)

Wave Motion Gun...

Obviously, this is a counter to China put blame where it belongs.

Krankor alert? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599549)

Why bother when they already have this guy?
MST3K 0816 Prince Of Space [youtube.com]

Star Blazers (Space Battleship Yamato) (2)

mpercy (1085347) | about 2 months ago | (#47599589)

I watched that as a kid.

Re:Star Blazers (Space Battleship Yamato) (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 2 months ago | (#47599629)

I still have the entire first series on video tape and part of the second.

Favorite part, by far, is their battle inside Planet Gamolon. Nothing better than watching it at night, lights off, volume to 11.

Not advisable if you are prone to epileptic seizures.

Headline is Misleading (1)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 2 months ago | (#47599595)

The article headline here makes it sound like Japan is getting ready to start space warfare, when in fact the article itself says that this program is meant to protect existing orbital assets by tracking space debris. I don't get why they use the term "fourth battlefield" in the article either, since it doesn't seem like anyone affiliated with this program actually said that. If anything, this sounds like it could lead to efforts to capture space junk and dispose of it safely.

Re:Headline is Misleading (1)

JustNiz (692889) | about 2 months ago | (#47600389)

...and thats where it starts..
I guarantee it won't be long until someone uses the word "terrorism" to excuse any and all radical deviations from the program's original agenda.

Mech fighters (1)

deamonpainter33 (972715) | about 2 months ago | (#47599631)

Looks like Japan is trying to make a good excuse for a transforming mech... so let's call them Gundams :D

Re:Mech fighters (1)

voss (52565) | about 2 months ago | (#47599783)

Gundams are easy. Breeding Tsundere girls with naturally pink and blue hair...a bit harder.

Re:Mech fighters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47601147)

You transparently are under the illusion that the pink hair is natural. The Tsundere girls happen naturally.

LOL sure sure Japan.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47599711)

Build your 1997 Space Hotel first you big talkers...

http://www.cnn.com/TECH/9705/2... [cnn.com]

Japan likes to announce grandiose projects but they can't even get reliable electricity and are an aging population...

Let go of the comic books, folks.

need to stop space godzilla (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 months ago | (#47599757)

need to stop space godzilla

Re:need to stop space godzilla (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47601561)

There's no way that mere humans can stop SpaceGodzilla!

However, if we can detect him approaching, we might be able to wake Godzilla up in time to save the Earth. (Well, all of the Earth except downtown Tokyo.)

We're off to outer space (1)

chinton (151403) | about 2 months ago | (#47599849)

We're leaving Mother Earth, To save the human race, Our Star Blazers...

yada yada yada

Does a Big Rock count as a WMD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47600079)

I mean Big Rocks are about as conventional a weapon as one can get. Cavemen could do big rocks. Monkeys can do big rocks. But, dropped/thrown/launched from space, they also make for a much tidier alternative to nukes.

Mainichi Shimbun (1)

zeroryoko1974 (2634611) | about 2 months ago | (#47600199)

Isn't that paper like the Japanese equivalent to the Weekly World News, or the National Enquirer?

gamera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47600339)

Giant flaming rocket powered space turtles

5th Battlefield (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47600483)

Actually space is the 5th battlefield. The 4th battlefield has already been established as "cyberspace".

Never a better moment to quote Blade Runner (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47600633)

"I've... seen things you people wouldn't believe; attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion; I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those... moments... will be lost... in time, like... tears... in rain."

voltron or power rangers (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 months ago | (#47600755)

it could go either way.

My thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47600849)

Maybe Japan and the United States could no this jointly. It would help both governments in job creation and increasing technology. We need to work together more in our world.

Chris
Owner CEL Financial Services
http://www.taxprepfillmore.com/santa-paula-tax-preparation.

Science Patrol? (1)

LordBadger (174888) | about 2 months ago | (#47600867)

Will they call the Science Patrol, and fight Kaiju?

Re:Science Patrol? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47601313)

Will they call the Science Patrol, and fight Kaiju?

No, silly Badger. They will call it the Star Force!

Anyone for "Planetes"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47600981)

Or, for that matter, just about any Japanese space-related anime?

Such an odd duck, that country. Pop culture suffused with space, but actual progress in the field never very motivated.

Code name... (1)

zorro-z (1423959) | about 2 months ago | (#47601063)

Code name: Star Blazers! Cue the theme, raise the Yamato, and ready the wave motion gun!

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