The Japanese government will partner with the United States project to build a new space station on the moon's orbit. This partnership mission might give a chance for Japan to send their astronaut to the moon.
According to Japan Times, Japan would provide an unmanned cargo ship and technology for the mission which would protect astronauts from harmful space radiations. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a meeting of the government's strategic headquarters for space policy that Japan would "accelerate discussions of international space exploration by strengthening cooperation with the U.S and others."
The new lunar space station which has been named "deep space gateway" has been planned to be built in the cislunar space by 2020. The first major official announcement of the lunar space station had been made on September 27 at the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaida, Australia when Russia and the US signed a statement to partner in the program.
The United States President Donald Trump had signed a significant national space policy on December 12, 2017, which stated that the U.S. led integrated program would be set for the human return to the Moon with support from private sector partners.
According to an Official statement, "The policy calls for the NASA administrator to "lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities."
The effort seeks to effectively coordinate and organize U.S. government, private industries, and other International Space agencies to work towards returning humans to Moon which would lay the foundation for human exploration and expansion to Mars.
Japan and Russia had been partnering with the U.S., Canada, and the European Union to construct and operate the International Space Station which orbits the Earth. Scientists from various countries had been living and conducting experiments in the Space Station laboratory since November 2, 2000.
The first piece of the Space Station was sent in 1998 in a Russian rocket. More and more parts have been added to it for advanced research. The SpaceX aerospace company's 13th commercial resupply mission to the International Space station which has been planned to be launched in its Falcon 9 rocket on December 15 would add technology to the space station.
Private aerospace manufacturer and space transport companies SpaceX and Lockheed Martin have been partnering with NASA to develop technology for space transportation and to establish human exploration on the Mars.
Meanwhile, the 53rd International Space Station crew Randy Bresnik (NASA), Paolo Nespoli (ESA), and Sergey Ryazanskiy (ROSCOSMOS) have finished their mission and landed in Kazakhstan on December 14.