The US is planning to open a Space Force command post in Japan as it’s looking to increase its space capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region as part of the buildup aimed at China.
Last year, the US established Space Force command posts in Hawaii and South Korea, which both fall under US Indo-Pacific Command. When President Biden hosted the leaders of South Korea and Japan at Camp David last month, the three nations agreed to increase space cooperation.
Maj. Charles Taylor, deputy commander of Space Forces Korea, told Stars and Stripes that there was already a small number of Space Force members, known as guardians, in Japan. Taylor declined to say where the Space Force command post will be located in Japan or how many personnel will be stationed there.
The US military has said the purpose of its Space Force base in South Korea is for “space operations and services such as missile warnings … and satellite communications with the region.” Chinese military experts told The South China Morning Post that the establishment of the Space Force outposts in East Asia would fuel a US-China space race.
“The new deployment shows Joe Biden’s administration is continuing Donald Trump’s space strategy of building the Space Force as a powerful arm with both offensive and defensive capabilities,” said Song Zhongpin, a former People’s Liberation Army instructor.
“But it will encourage militarisation in space, and lead to an arms race in outer space among capable countries, especially Beijing and Washington,” Song added.
Ni Lexiong, a professor at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, said the two Space Force bases are “not only aimed at China’s most powerful strategic weapons, such intercontinental ballistic missiles and anti-satellite systems, but also help interfere with the joint operations of the PLA’s missile force, navy, air force and strategic support force.”