The US, Russia, India and China may by eyeing a manned return to the Moon over the next two decades or so, but only Japan could trump the lot by saying it wants to send humanoid robots up there first.
– or whoever gets the first lunar ticket – will scope the satellite out for humans to follow soon after.
I can haz Moon?
No specifics have been decided yet, but the rather grand-sounding Strategic Headquarters for Space Development has been charged with fleshing things out over the next two years.
While Japan currently has a wary eye on the skies because of recent North Korean missile threats, it generally follows through on space-related plans.
In other words, we're probably in for a rerun of the '60s space race, albeit with metal and plastic protagonists in a few years' time.