Japan appoints minister of space development

Japan appoints minister of space development

Japan appoints minister of space development

Posted 17 June 2008, 22:32 AEST

Japan has appointed its first minister of space development.

The move comes after the passing of a new law allowing the use of outer space for defence, ending a decades-old ban.

The new minister is Fumio Kishida, who also holds the science policy portfolio.

While Japan says it has no current plans for a defence project in space, correspondents say the new law aims to remove any legal obstacles to building more advanced spy satellites and to help innovation in the country's space industry.

Proponents of the legislation argue that it is necessary as Japan has fallen behind other nations in space technology, such as China.

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