Japan-Russia Space Projects Being Explored 

Propaganda Posters of Soviet Space Program 1958-1963 (12)

The Yomiuri Shimbun reports: The government has begun talks with Russia over a possible collaboration in outer space-related fields, sources said.

The main areas of cooperation are expected to take place at a base in the Russian Far East to launch satellites and joint space-related technology projects.

Hiroshige Seko, minister for economic cooperation with Russia, is scheduled to visit Moscow in November, and a working group is expected to be formed to make specific proposals.

The Japanese and Russian governments have been discussing ways to expand economic and other forms of cooperation in preparation for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s planned visit to Japan in December.

The Russian side brought up the possibility of cooperation in space-related fields in early September, the sources said. Since then, the Japanese government has been studying the matter internally, according to the sources.

Russia is seeking to expand the use of its Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur region in its Far East. It has mainly been relying on the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, but embarked on building a domestic base due to reasons including the hefty fees for using the site.

However, Russia has already spent 300 billion rubles (about ¥500 billion) on Vostochny, and further costs are expected. Launching Japanese satellites from this base could help recover the construction costs, the sources said, adding that Russia has shown interest in inviting companies involved in related fields.

For Japan, launching satellites from low-cost Russian rockets could expand the use of outer space by the private sector, such as through communications and observation satellites.

The government is also trying to expand the use of domestically produced satellites for launching commercial satellites. Read the rest of this entry »


Japan: Elderly Crimes Exceed Teen Crimes?

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Over 23,000 criminal seniors busted this year

Police in Japan have dealt with more elderly crime than juvenile crime in the past six months, it’s reported.

It’s the first time that people over the age of 65 have surpassed teenagers in crime statistics since 1989, when Japan’s National Police Agency started publishing age-related crime data, the Kyodo News Agency reports. Officers took action against more than 23,000 elderly people in the first half of the year, compared to fewer than 20,000 youngsters aged between 14 and 19, officials figures show.

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Japan has seen a fall in overall crime rates over the past 10 years, but not among its growing elderly population. The new figures show that violent crime committed by the over-65s rose by more than 10% compared to the same period last year. Of the country’s 127 million people, more than a quarter are now of retirement age, but the government has warned that the figure is likely to grow significantly in the coming decades. Read the rest of this entry »