Science and technology in Japan
Japan is a foremost nation in the fields of scientific research, technology, machinery and medical research with the world's third biggest budget for research and development at US$130 billion, and over 677,000 researchers.
Some of Japan's more important technological contributions are found in the fields of electronics, machinery, industrial robotics, optics, chemicals, semiconductors and metals. Japan leads the world in robotics, possessing more than half (402,200 of 742,500) of the world's industrial robots used for manufacturing.It also produced QRIO, ASIMO, and Aibo. Japan is also home to six of the world's 15 biggest automobile manufacturers and seven of the world 20 largest semiconductor sales leaders.
Japan has also made headway into aerospace research and space exploration. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) conducts space and planetary research, aviation research, and growth of rockets and satellites. It also built the Japanese Experiment Module, which is slated to be launched and added to the International Space Station during Space Shuttle assembly flights in 2007 and 2008.