The Japanese Experiment Module, or JEM, called Kibo -- which means "hope" in Japanese -- is Japan's first human space facility and enhances the unique research capabilities of the International Space Station.
Experiments in Kibo focus on space medicine, biology, Earth observations, material production, biotechnology and communications research. Kibo experiments and systems are operated from the Mission Control Room at the Space Station Operations Facility, or SSOF, at Tsukuba Space Center in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, just north of Tokyo.
Kibo consists of six components: two research facilities -- the Pressurized Module and Exposed Facility; a Logistics Module attached to each of them; a Remote Manipulator System; and an Inter-Orbit Communication System unit. Kibo also has a scientific airlock through which experiments are transferred and exposed to the external environment of space. The various components of JEM will be assembled in space over the course of three Space Shuttle missions. The missions are designated assembly flights 1J, 1J/A and 2J/A.