January 19, 2007 -- Japan has joined the United States in expressing concern over China's apparent test of a weapon that attacks satellites in space.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki said the test raised concerns in Japan's government about Japanese national security and the peaceful use of space.
"We are concerned about it firstly from the point of view of the peaceful use of space and secondly from the safety perspective," Shiozaki said.
The United States earlier said it had expressed concern to Beijing about the test, in which a ground-based, medium-range Chinese ballistic missile was said to have destroyed an aging Chinese weather satellite about 865 kilometers above Earth on January 11.
There has been no official comment on the test so far from China.
The successful test suggests that China could, in theory, shoot down satellites operated by other nations.
Reports say the Chinese test would be the first such test since the United States and Soviet Union experimented with antisatellite technology in the 1980s.
(compiled from agency reports)