from houseofjapan.com: Japan, with the help of the international community, is working on plans to send a manned mission to Mars. Science ministry officials, citing the staggering costs and technological difficulties, said such an undertaking could only be accomplished with participation of other countries. In a May 30 meeting with an advisory council to discuss Japan’s space exploration strategy, ministry officials said the first step was to get other countries involved in the Mars project. The council is expected to compile a report on the project by July. In August 2013, the International Space Exploration Coordination Group, a voluntary organization of 14 space agencies, said in its updated global exploration road map that it expects to send a human mission for the exploration of Mars in 2030 at the earliest.