The country of the rising sun is bound to combine the two main projects of future, robotics and space exploration, in one single mission. If Japanes PM Yukio Hatoyama realizes his will to create a colony made up by humanoid robots will be built on the Moon surface by 2015. Japan will have to invest $2.2 million with the aim of accomplishing scientific research and collecting necessary data for the future human colonization.
The base will be set up near the south pole because of the good conditions in that location: solar power, moderate temperatures... As a leading country in Artificial Intelligence, Japan has made a big effort in innovative technology so that the robots can be given enough autonomy to investigate Moon's surface by themselves, though their activity will be controlled from Earth.
Several nations have recently announced their interest in our satellite. There is plenty of helium in the Moon. This a very safe and ecofriendly resource that produces a lot of energy. It is a great leap for Japan. The hegemony of Russia and US in the sapce race doesn't exist any longer as the EU, Japan, India and China are developing their own programmes.