Prompted by North Korea’s recent launch of a ballistic missile, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Thursday began discussing the launch of a multipurpose information satellite.

At the meeting of the LDP’s newly created working group, ministries and government agencies reported on projects and activities that would make use of the satellite, LDP officials said. “Although as much as 4 trillion yen has been invested in the past for space development, the money has not been spent effectively,” said former Foreign Minister Taro Nakayama, who chaired the meeting.

The participants agreed there is a need to bring space development programs in line with the realignment of ministries and government agencies, Nakayama said.

Concerning a 1969 Diet resolution that requires the government to proceed with space development only for peaceful purposes, Nakayama said that the launch of a multipurpose satellite does not conflict with the resolution because it will be used for national defense.

Nakayama also said that it is the Diet’s decision whether it broadens the resolution’s interpretation or revises it, if the government decides to launch such a satellite.

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