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The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) conducts space and planetary research, aviation research, and development of space and satellites. It has developed a series of rockets, the latest and the most powerful of which is H-IIB. H-IIA/B rockets which have the capability of carrying8-ton payload to the GTO at maximum are now managed by the private-own company Mitsubishi Heavy Industry. It also built the Japanese Experiment Module, which was launched and added to the International Space Station during Space Shuttle assembly flights in 2007 and 2008 and the HTV to transfer payloads to the station in 2009.
Since 1973, Japan has been looking to become less dependent on imported fuel and start to depend on nuclear energy. In 2008, after the opening of 7 brand new nuclear reactors in Japan (3 on Honsh?, and 1 each on Hokkaid?, Ky?sh?, Shikoku, and Tanegashima) Japan became the third largest nuclear power user in the world with 55 nuclear reactors. These provide 34.5% of Japan's electricity.
Following an earthquake, tsunami, and the failure of cooling systems at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant on March 11, 2011, a nuclear emergency was declared. 140,000 residents within 20 km of the plant were evacuated. See Radiation effects from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster 900.
Japan is well known for its electronics industry throughout the world, and Japanese electronic products account for a large share in the world market, compared to a majority of other countries. Japan is one of the leading nations in the fields of scientific research, technology, machinery, and medical research with the world's third largest budget for research and development at $130 billion USD, and over 677,731 researchers. Japan has received the most science Nobel prizes in Asia (see List of Nobel laureates by country)
Japan has large international corporate conglomerates such as Fuji (which developed the nation's first electronic computer, FUJIC1999, in 1956) and Sony. Sony, Panasonic, Canon, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Sharp, NEC, Nintendo, Epson and Toshiba are among the best-known electronics companies in the world. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, and Subaru are also very well known automobile companies in the world.
It's estimated that 16% of the world's gold and 22% of the world's silver is contained in electronic technology in Japan.
Japan is a leading nation in scientific research, particularly biomedical research.