Japan and the US have signed an agreement to cooperate on a manned lunar probe, Japan Times reported.

Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology signed a joint declaration with NASA on Friday to cooperate in the US-led Artemis manned lunar probe project.

In the statement, the sides confirmed their intention to “develop arrangements” to give Japan opportunities to put its crew on the moon.

“We’ve taken a big step toward the first-ever landing of Japanese on the moon,” minister Koichi Hagiuda noted.

The Japanese government announced a decision to join NASA's lunar program on October 18, 2019.