The launch was performed from the Tanegashima Space Center in the Kagoshima Prefecture in the south of Japan at 10:21 local time (01:30 GMT). The satellite was taken into orbit by the H-2A (H-IIA) carrier rocket.
This is the fifth spy satellite that Japan has launched into the Earth's orbit. It will allow to capture objects on the surface of the Earth at high resolution during nighttime and through clouds. The other four Japanese satellites that are orbiting the Earth include two optical imaging spacecraft and two radar imagers.
Japan plans to launch another reconnaissance satellite in March, as part of the Information Gathering Satellite (IGS) series. The IGS program was initiated after North Korea attempted to launch a satellite in August 1998. The rocket carrying the satellite overflew Japan and fell into the Pacific Ocean.
Japan launches new spy satellite (VIDEO)The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries joint project went into space.