Japan's military is testing Elon Musk's Starlink for potential adoption

The technology may be acquired by the Ministry of Defense in the next fiscal year.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Starlink satellites.jpg
Starlink satellites.


Reuters reported on Sunday that Japan's military is testing Elon Musk's Starlink satellite internet service according to the Yomiuri newspaper that cited unnamed government sources.

If all goes well, the organization may adopt the technology next fiscal year.

Japan’s Ministry of Defense already has access to communication satellites in geostationary orbit but lacks access to the devices in low Earth orbit which Starlink would provide, the Yomiuri said.

The development has been ongoing for a while with Japan's Self-Defense Forces testing Starlink since March and the system deployed in about 10 locations in the nation, the Japanese newspaper said according to Reuters.

Starlink holds the promise to bring the internet to the world's most remote corners through the installation of a network of satellites that orbit the Earth shortly, beaming down high-speed internet to users below.

With over 3,000 SpaceX Starlink satellites already launched and another 9,000 or so planned in the near future, Starlink has the potential to transform how people connect to the internet, especially in areas where traditional internet service providers have failed to provide reliable access.

In February of 2022, the service was activated for users in the Ukraine courtesy of Musk. 

It all began when at the time Mykhailo Fedorov, the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, tweeted at Musk asking the billionaire to connect his struggling nation with the internet.

"While you try to colonize Mars — Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people!" Fedorov's now-famous tweet said. "We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand."

Within hours, Musk had replied that the company's Starlink satellite internet service "is now active in Ukraine" with "more terminals en route."

Sadly, however, in October SpaceX said it could not afford to indefinitely fund Starlink's use in Ukraine.

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