A scientific institute belonging to Japan's space agency has barred Chinese and Russian researchers, among others, to protect sensitive technological information that could be used for military purposes, a source close to the matter has said.

The Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) has set new standards for accepting foreign researchers and students that went into effect last September, the source said Friday. Its parent, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, declined to comment.

The move comes as part of efforts to prevent technologies used in satellites and rockets from being accessed by foreign agencies that are developing weapons of mass destruction. Individuals from countries such as North Korea, Iran, Iraq and Belarus have also been barred from undergoing screening to enter ISAS.