• Kyodo

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Japan and the United States agreed Friday to strengthen their cooperation on maritime surveillance using satellites, apparently with China’s military advances in mind.

At a meeting in Tokyo as part of their “comprehensive dialogue on space,” the two governments also agreed to keep close communication to protect their space systems from military threats, Japanese officials said.

The nations’ bilateral defense cooperation guidelines, updated in April, include operations in space.

In a joint statement, the two said the meeting “represents the strong commitment of two of the world’s most advanced spacefaring nations to closely cooperate with the international community to ensure the continuous and stable use of outer space.”

“Given the common security challenges our two countries face, both sides discussed security cooperation and confirmed enhanced cooperation to maintain strong space industries and scientific and technological developments that contribute to the resiliency of critical space systems,” the statement said.

They also confirmed further information-sharing on space debris, officials said.

The participants included representatives from Japan’s Foreign and Defense ministries and the U.S. National Security Council and the State and Defense departments.

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