• Kyodo News


A government task force Friday drafted a basic five-year plan on the development and use of space and set a goal of sending a two-legged robot to the moon by around 2020.

The plan, outlined by the secretariat of Prime Minister Taro Aso’s space development strategy headquarters, terms lunar exploration by robot “an important current goal.”

But the secretariat watered down an earlier proposal on sending a manned space expedition to the moon by mentioning the possibility of combining it with robots.

“Its significance and purpose will be studied in one or two years with a focus on the possible combined use of a human and a robot for such exploration,” the plan says.

The initial plan drafted by the secretariat in March called for sending an astronaut to the moon between 2025 and 2030.

The basic plan recommends Japan actively use technology it excels in for space development and shift its emphasis from space-related technological advancement to space development that can meet defense and other practical needs.

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