From the article:
The Japanese government announced it is in the planning stages to send a robot to the moon in five years and construct an unmanned base there in 10 years at a space exploration conference on Tuesday.
The mission is estimated to require about 200 billion yen. An additional 90 billion yen for simultaneously developing Japan’s manned mission program was also proposed.
The plan would send a robot to the moon by 2015, after which it would transmit back high-resolution video and analyze the moon’s inner structure with a seismometer. By 2020, the robot would be used to set up a self-powering base, from which the robot would explore over 100-kilometers of surface. Moon rocks valuable from a scientific or natural resource perspective would be sent back to Earth.
Former Prime Minister Taro Aso and former U.S. President George W. Bush shared enthusiasm for further moon exploration. Aso set up the conference on space exploration in August of last year. However, when the Obama administration took power in the U.S., they changed the focus of the U.S.’s space exploration strategy from the moon to manned missions to Mars and asteroids.
Eyes turned toward Japan to see if it would follow suit, but on Tuesday morning, at the first meeting of the Strategic Headquarters for Space Policy since Hatoyama took office, the government decided to continue with the moon-oriented policy of the Aso administration.
Japan is leading the race towards the future, I mean a moon base in 20 years!
The think I have noticed is that regular people don’t seem to see that we truly live in a futuristic world right now, let me make some examples. First the things we have right now: space tourism, unmanned aerial drones, above 20/20 vision, soft morphing robots. And what we will have in the near future: Star Trek-style force-field armour, controlling computers with your brain, solar panels that convert 100% of the sunlight that hits it.
You just have to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.