Japan launched Satellite from Tanegashima Space Centre

Japan launched Satellite from Tanegashima Space CentreJapanese spy satellites launched its fifth runway Saturday in an attempt to strengthen their ability to gather intelligence independently, the government said.

Domestically and developed H-2A rocket carrying the satellite lifted 565 million U.S. dollars from a space center in the southern island of Tanegashima, said Hisashi Michigami, an official in the Prime Minister.

"The satellite will gather intelligence on our defense and diplomatic purposes," said Michigami. "We hope to increase our ability to gather intelligence on our own. Gathering information is crucial to our national security."Michigami said the launch was a success.

Japan has long placed on U.S. intelligence agencies. But he released his first pair of spy satellites in 2003, driven by concern over the missile program of North Korea.

North Korea shocked Tokyo in 1998, when a missile test over Japan. Since then, Japan has launched spy satellites, especially to see developments in North Korea.In April this year, flew a long-range missile North Korea over Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean.

Michigami said Japan's three spy satellites work. The satellite failed to respond quarter of 2007 due to apparent electrical problems. Each spy satellites will take about five years, he said.

Japan has been one of the world's leading space powers Nations, which launched its first satellite in 1970. However, it has been hard to get out from under the shadow of China in recent years.

While China sent its first man into orbit in 2003, Japan has yet to send astronauts on their own, even though Japan had joined the U.S. space missions.

Last year Japan's parliament voted to allow its space programs, used for defense for the first time as part of a push from Tokyo to give its military a greater role internationally.

In January this year, Japan launched its first satellite to control greenhouse gases, a tool to help researchers better assess the global warming emissions have been taken and how much is absorbed by oceans and forests.

The country also plans to have a two-legged robot walking on the moon around 2020.

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