The Japan Air Self-Defense Force has opened an office in Tokyo to share information on outer space with businesses and research institutions.

The Oct. 2 launch of the Japan Space Collaboration and Innovation Office is part of the country's effort to boost defense capacity in space, where competition among major powers such as the United States, China and Russia has been intensifying.

The office will be staffed by several ASDF members who will be there to exchange views on fast-developing private-sector space technologies and gain knowledge about the biggest advances, military officials said.

"We'd like to utilize the private sector's technologies in the defense sector and enhance our capability through public-private cooperation," said Gen. Hiroaki Uchikura, chief of staff of the ASDF, at a news conference in late September. "We will reflect the acquired knowledge in the introduction of new defense equipment," he added.

The office is located in a skyscraper in the capital's Toranomon district, where many space startups and research institutions have opened offices.

In its three key defense documents updated last December, Tokyo vowed to enhance its space operating capabilities and boost cooperation with its security ally Washington, as well as in the cyber and electromagnetic domains.

The government said the ASDF will be rebranded as the Air and Space Self-Defense Force as it aims to reinforce its abilities to operate and dominate in space, according to its policy papers.