Japan to mull sending man to moon

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency or JAXA presented the idea to the science ministry’s panel on Wednesday. The panel is tasked with discussing the direction of the country’s space exploration.

JAXA says it will not develop a manned spacecraft on its own that requires huge development costs.

Instead, it will make a technological contribution to a multinational project on a manned lunar probe. They hope this will gain them the right to send Japanese to the moon.

The agency expects preparations for such a project to start around 2025.

The ministry’s panel plans to compile a report on the vision of the country’s space exploration by March.

This is the first time for JAXA to officially reveal its intent to dispatch astronauts beyond the International Space Station.

Japan’s space agency has proposed to a government panel a plan to send Japanese astronauts to the moon after 2025. (NHK)

The frequent tests and growing sophistication of North Korean missiles is prompting the Japanese government and the general public to think carefully about civil defence. What if Pyongyang actually did fire missiles at a major Japanese city? (aljazeera.com)

A Japanese budget airline apologised Wednesday for forcing a wheelchair-bound man to crawl up a set of stairs to board his flight. (scmp.com)

Farmers in Kagawa Prefecture, western Japan, have started shipping square watermelons across the country. (NHK)

A 42-year-old woman of Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, was arrested Tuesday for allegedly setting a man on fire, causing him to sustain burns over his entire body, police said. (Japan Times)

A committee of Japan Broadcasting Corp., or NHK, came up with a proposal on Tuesday calling for charging fees on households without television sets for watching TV programs distributed through the Internet simultaneously. (Jiji)

The poverty rate among Japanese children slightly improved in 2015 thanks in part to the country’s better job market but one in every seven children remains poor, a survey by the welfare ministry showed Tuesday. (Japan Today)

Sota Fujii, the youngest professional shogi player, set an unprecedented record on Monday, marking the 29th official straight win since his debut in December last year. (Jiji)

The Japanese science and technology ministry said Monday it will have to wait at least until the fiscal year starting in April 2019 to launch work to complete a seamless earthquake and tsunami observation system for the Nankai Trough in the Pacific Ocean off central to southwestern Japan. (Jiji)

A 70-year-old woman dubbed the “black widow” for allegedly murdering her husband and common-law partners with cyanide, pleaded innocent Monday at the first hearing of her trial at the Kyoto District Court. (Japan Times)

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