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Japan's Military Tests Elon Musk's Starlink Satellite Internet Service, Considers Adoption

Updated: Jan 5

Japan's Ministry of Defense explores Starlink technology for improved communication amid rising global concerns over satellite security.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket
Credits: REUTERS

Japan's military is currently conducting tests on Elon Musk's Starlink satellite internet service, as reported by the Yomiuri newspaper, with plans to potentially adopt the technology in the coming fiscal year.

The Ministry of Defense, which already relies on communication satellites in geostationary orbit, recognises the value of incorporating Starlink's constellation of low Earth orbit satellites to enhance its capabilities against potential communication disruptions and satellite-based attacks during conflicts.

According to Yomiuri, the Self-Defense Forces of Japan have been actively testing the Starlink system since March, implementing it in approximately 10 locations for training purposes. However, the defence ministry officials were not available for immediate comment regarding the report, given the current time is outside business hours.

While Ukraine has deployed Starlink technology on the battlefield to bolster its communication infrastructure, Russia has made attempts to hinder its utilisation in the region. Elon Musk previously expressed concerns about the financial sustainability of Starlink's presence in Ukraine. In a separate development, the U.S. Defense Department recently announced a contract to avail Starlink services within its own operations.

  • Japan's military is testing Elon Musk's Starlink satellite internet service for potential adoption next fiscal year.

  • The Ministry of Defense recognizes the need for additional satellite capabilities to ensure secure communication during conflicts.

  • Japan's Self-Defense Forces have been actively testing Starlink since March in various locations.

  • The defence ministry officials were unavailable for immediate comment on the report.

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